After the Catheterization:
After the test is completed your child will be moved to the recovery room, ICU, or intermediate care unit, and will need to rest in bed for the remainder of the day. The nurse will check vital signs, catheter insertion site(s) and pulses frequently. The catheter site will be observed for bleeding. Usually no stitches will be used, just a large bandage, which should be replaced with a Band-Aid the morning after the test. Some bruising may be present at the catheter insertion site. This is normal. The site may be tender for a day or two but not enough to limit your child’s activity.
When awake from the sedation your child may drink and eat normally. Some children complain of nausea for a short time after the cardiac catheterization, especially if general anesthesia was given. Encourage you child to sip clear liquids initially. Fever may occur for a short time after the catheterization, especially if contrast solution was used, but this should subside as the contrast is excreted by the body. Drinking clear liquids will help to speed up this process.
If your child’s test required the use of an artery for catheter insertion they will be required to rest in bed for 6 – 8 hours before being allowed home. If a vein alone was accessed, then your child will usually be able to come home after resting for 4 hours.
The rest period is so we can observe the catheter site for signs of bruising or bleeding.
The evening after the test your child should rest as much as possible and resume normal activities on the following day.