Good Morning Mrs. C! I’ve had more angiograms than I can count on both hands, I consider myself a frequent flyer as I quit counting around 12 or 13 lol. Everything @oct20 said is spot on. Everyone of my angiograms was through the groin except for the last which was through my wrist. I’ve determined they’re the best way for me… as there’s no laying flat on your back and the guardedness of picking up at or under the prescribed weight limit. I was out of the hospital faster than ever before. I learned about the radial entry here in our support group!
The Nurse Anesthetist is your best friend for the limited time, they’re the ones that put you in a happy place. The Anesthesiologist comes by and talks to you going over all the risks etc that your doctor has most likely already told you. Another RN will most likely put in the IV line though sometimes I’ve had the RN Anesthetist do it, especially if it’s one I’ve had before.
Once the doctor starts, he or she will direct you to breathe or hold it and breathe. They watch a big screen so they can traverse the catheter and take a look at all the arteries in your brain, both sides and you won’t feel a thing. You will have the Nurse Anesthetist by your side, the ones I get always stand on my left as my surgeon stands on my right. Since I go to a teaching hospital, there is always a Resident with her. There’s another Nurse that stands up by my head. There’s a couple more folks that help transfer from the gurney to the table but then besides prepping the machines I don’t see them once my Dr. comes in. If there’s a delay because of something else, I get to ask her team to play music I like and we sing along until she comes in. Dr. Quintero-Wolfe’s NP is always there now as the first one was but not the second one and they always say hi and let me know they’ll be in the observation room. Sometimes she will have other students (Residents, etc) packed in there like sardines but once I’m on the table, I don’t see them anymore.
Before she starts, I have a litany of questions such as did she sleep well, eat breakfast go to the head (we are both ex Navy). She might ask about the dogs we’ve rescued since I ruptured and I might ask how her family is doing, we’ve known each other since 2013. When she starts inserting the catheter, I may have some other odd questions to ask, many times it’s something that a member here has asked believe it or not.
She has her “look see” as I call it, removes the catheter and if it’s in the groin there is a bit of pressure to seal the seal they use, transfer back to the gurney and off to recovery, wake up, lay flat on your back for several hours with an RN checking it and go home. If it’s the radial, there’s a wrist doohickey that applies the pressure, go to a room for a few hours with an RN checking it and once it’s done it’s job, go home. As you can see RN’s play an extremely important part in our medical care, they are priceless in my opinion. Depending on which method of entry, radial (wrist) or femoral (groin) will determine your restrictions when you go home, abide by the restrictions!
There’s a few things I do to help me and the procedure do well. About three days prior, I make sure to start hydrating really well as it helps the needles to go in thus it’s basically pain free. The night before, we go to a really nice restaurant and discuss goals, our bucket list if you will. Then after the procedure, we stop and eat lunch or go to my favorite tea store where I pick out some new tea, sometimes we can do both and it really makes my day!
Good luck and please let us know how it goes for you!