Discharge Instructions for Coronary Arteriography

Discharge Instructions for Coronary Arteriography

You have had a coronary arteriography. This is also called a coronary angiography or catheterization. The procedure was done to look for blocked areas in the blood vessels that send blood to the heart. A thin, flexible tube (catheter) was put in a blood vessel in your groin or arm. Contrast fluid was injected into your blood, which then flowed to your heart. Then X-rays pictures were taken of your heart. Your doctor has already reviewed the results with you. Be sure to ask any questions you have before you leave. This sheet will help you take care of yourself at home.

Home Care

  • Only do light and easy activities for the next 2-3 days. Ask for help with chores and errands while you recover. Have someone drive you to your appointments.

  • Avoid heavy lifting for a while. Your doctor will provide a specific time frame for you.

  • Ask your doctor when you can expect to return to work.

  • Take your medications as directed. Do not skip doses.

  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. This is to help flush the contrast dye out of your body.

  • Take your temperature each day for 7 days.

  • Check your incisions daily for signs of infection. These include redness, swelling, and drainage. It is normal to have a small bruise or bump where the catheter was inserted. A bruise that is getting larger is not normal and should be reported to your doctor.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Make sure it is low in fat, salt, and cholesterol. Ask your doctor for diet information.

  • Stop smoking. Enroll in a stop-smoking program or ask your doctor for help.

  • Exercise as advised by your doctor.

  • Do not swim or take baths until the doctor says it’s OK. You can shower the day after the procedure.  


Make a follow-up appointment as advised by our staff.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Chest pain

  • Constant or increasing pain or numbness in your leg

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher

  • Symptoms of infection (redness, swelling, drainage, or warmth at the incision site)

  • Shortness of breath

  • A leg that feels cold or appears blue

  • Bleeding, bruising, or a lot of swelling where the catheter was inserted

  • Blood in your urine

  • Black or tarry stools

  • Any unusual bleeding