Caring for yourself at home
Your cardiac catheterization on _______________________________ was through the
right / left femoral artery and vein
▪ Have someone drive you home. You
should not drive at all until at least 24
hours after your procedure.
▪ Rest quietly today.
Care of the incision
▪ You may shower 24 hours after your
procedure. Remove the bandage over
the site before you take a shower.
▪ For the next 3 days:
- Gently clean the site using soap and
water while in the shower. Gently
dry the site. Do not rub the site.
- You may apply an antibacterial
ointment (i.e. Neosporin ). Do not
use lotions or powders in the area.
- Cover the site with a band-aid or
dressing. Make sure to cover the
entire area. A square band-aid works
- Keep the site clean and dry to
prevent infection. If the band-aid or
dressing becomes wet, remove it and
replace it with a new one.
- Inspect the site daily for redness,
swelling, or drainage.
▪ Do not lift more than 10 pounds for 1
week or until the wound has healed.
▪ No vigorous activity or straining for 1
week like riding a bicycle or doing sit-
ups. Walking on a flat surface for
exercise is preferred during this first
▪ Do not sit in a bathtub, hot tub, or go
into a swimming pool for 1 week or until
the site is completely healed.
▪ You should be able to eat normally the
morning after the procedure.
▪ If feeling well the night of the procedure
you may eat and drink.
▪ You may not feel hungry or feel
nauseous the night of the procedure.
This is to be expected and will get better.
We suggest a light diet the night of the
procedure if hungry.
What to expect
▪ Soreness or tenderness at the site that
may last 1 week.
▪ Most procedure sites do not ooze blood.
Mild oozing of blood from the site may
be present but should not soak more than
two dressing changes.
▪ Bruising at the site that may take 2-3
weeks to go away.
▪ A small lump (dime to quarter size)
which may last up to 6 weeks.
What to do for minor pain
▪ You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol )
or ibuprofen every 6-8 hours.
▪ You may place an ice pack or warm
pack over the site for 20 minutes every 2
hours. Gently wipe the site after you
remove the pack if it is wet.
When and how to call for help
▪ If bleeding or sudden swelling should
occur at the site. Apply direct pressure.
If the bleeding does not stop after 10
minutes of placing constant pressure on
the site, call 911 for help. Keep pressing
until you get help.
▪ If your leg becomes numb, cold, or turns
blue, call 911 for emergency help.
Call your doctor right away if you notice
▪ Any signs of infection including:
o Redness, swelling, or drainage at
o Fever over 100.4 θF for two
readings taken a few hours apart.
▪ Severe pain.
UW/AFCH Pediatric and Adult
Congenital Cardiology Clinic:
After 5 PM and before 8 AM and on
weekends, and holidays, the paging operator
will answer this number. Ask for the
pediatric cardiologist on call. Give your
name and phone number with the area code.
The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call
Return to work
You may return to work on
Continue to take your present medicines as prescribed. Tell your doctor of any side
effects. Do not stop taking any medicine without talking to your doctor first.
Additions or changes to your medicines
B. Laboratory tests
C. Follow-up visits or needs
D. Your visit with Dr. ________________________ could not be scheduled. The clinic will
call you in the next few days. You should see this doctor in the next _____ weeks. If you do
not hear from the clinic in the next few days, please call (608) 263-6420 or 1-800-323-8942
to schedule your visit.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 12/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#7500.