• Why do I need a right heart catheterisation study?

    Prof Ruparelia will suggest proceeding to a right heart catheterisation study in order to directly measure the pressures within the chambers of the heart and connecting blood vessels or as part of work up for planned structural interventions (e.g. arial septal defect closure).

    This is sometimes required in the presence of symptoms where non-invasive tests have not been diagnostic, to guide specific medical therapy or when planning an interventional procedures (percutaneous or surgical).

  • How do I prepare?

    You can eat and drink up until the procedure. Please take all of your regular medication. Please wear comfortable clothing.

  • What is involved?

    Prof Ruparelia will explain every step of the procedure and recovery in detail to ensure that all question and concerns have been addressed.

    On the day of your procedure you will be asked to attend. A small cannula is usually inserted in the arm through which any medication can be administered if required.

    You are awake through the procedure and some sedation can be administered if you are nervous or anxious.

    Local anaesthetic is administered to numb the skin in the e.bow (the most common route - rarely Prof Ruparelia may suggest that the procedure is performed via the vein at the top of the leg - femoral vein).

    Small tubes are then advanced through the vein through the pressures and the oxygenation of the blood within the heart and associated blood vessels can be directly measured.

    The procedure should not take longer than 15 minutes.

    Prof Ruparelia will explain the findings and formulate an ongoing management plan with you immediately after the procedure.

  • What are the risks?

    Right heart catheterisation is generally very safe with the risk of a significant complication approximately 0.1%. The most common complication includes pain, bleeding, bruising of the puncture site. There is a very small risk of a stroke, damage to the blood vessels within the lungs and mortality.

  • How long does it take to recover?

    If the procedure has been performed via the arm (brachial vein) you are able to sit up immediately. A tight dressing is usually applied around the puncture site. Once the team are happy with the puncture site you will be allowed to go home (2-3 hours after the procedure). It is important that you have someone to take you home and be with your for the first night at home. You should take care for a few days to facilitate healing.

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