In the hospital
After the test, you may be taken to the recovery room for observation or returned to your hospital room. You will stay flat in bed for several hours after the test. A nurse will monitor your vital signs, the insertion site, and circulation or sensation in the affected leg or arm.
Let your nurse know right away if you feel any chest pain or tightness, or any other pain, as well as any feelings of warmth, bleeding, or pain at the insertion site.
Bed rest may vary from 2 to 6 hours depending on your specific condition.
In some cases, the sheath or introducer may be left in the insertion site. If so, you will be on bed rest until the sheath is removed. After the sheath is removed, you may be given a light meal.
After the specified period of bed rest, you may get out of bed. The nurse will help you the first time you get up, and may check your blood pressure while you are lying in bed, sitting, and standing. You should move slowly when getting up from the bed to avoid any dizziness from the long period of bed rest.
You may be given pain medicine for pain or discomfort related to the insertion site or having to lie flat and still for a prolonged period.
You may go back to your usual diet after the test, unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.
When you have recovered, you may be discharged to your home unless your doctor decides otherwise. If this test was done on an outpatient basis, you must have another person drive you home.
Once at home, check the insertion site for bleeding, unusual pain, swelling, and abnormal color or temperature change. A small bruise is normal. If you notice a constant or large amount of blood at the site that can’t be contained with a small dressing and stopped by putting pressure over the area, contact your doctor right away.
It will be important to keep the insertion site clean and dry. Your doctor will give you specific bathing instructions.
You may be advised not to participate in any strenuous activities for a few days after the test. Your doctor will tell you when you can return to work and go back to your normal activities.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of the following:
Fever with a temperature higher than 100.4°F (38.0°C) or chills
Increased pain, redness, swelling, or bleeding or other drainage where the catheter was inserted
Coolness, numbness or tingling, or other changes in the affected leg
Chest pain or pressure, nausea or vomiting, profuse sweating, dizziness, or fainting
Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions after the test, depending on your situation.