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Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
What to Expect: Pre-booking

​If you are referred to us from your Cardiologist/Internist, you will be placed on our waiting list and called in to our admitting department. In most cases, you will be required to be here early in the morning, and will be able to leave the hospital later that same day.

Prior to Arrival

Prior to your arrival, your family physician will have sent you to a heart specialist who has recommended you have a cardiac catheterization (angiogram). Various diagnostic tests will have been done prior to your arrival at our lab. You will be contacted by our secretary as to the date of your procedure, where to go, what medications you can and cannot take, whether or not you can eat, and what time to be here. An information package will be sent to you.


If you have a history of asthma or allergies to any type of dye used in the examination of the kidneys or other arteries, tell the doctor before the test and tell the secretary at the time you are booked for your procedure. Precautions will be taken to prevent an allergic reaction.

Please let our secretary know if you are taking coumadin or warfarin.

Upon Arrival

  • Upon arrival at our hospital, you will be admitted. A nurse on the unit will take a brief medical history and start an intravenous in your arm. A cardiologist who will do your procedure will see you to obtain your consent for this procedure, and answer your questions. You will be given a standard medication to relax you and help prevent allergic reactions to our x-ray “dye” or contrast.
  • When our lab is available, our porter will bring you down on a stretcher. Your family may accompany you down, however they are not allowed into the lab area with you. There are waiting rooms available for your family.
  • Sometimes your procedure may be delayed or cancelled and rebooked if someone else arrives to us with a more urgent condition.
  • For an angiogram, you will be required to lie flat on a hard, narrow x-ray table. Your blood pressure and electrocardiogram (ECG) will be monitored, and you will be covered with sterile blankets. Our doctors and technologists will talk to you throughout the procedure. The procedure can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete.
  • A small tube is placed in the artery under local anaesthetic (usually in your groin), and a thin plastic tube is maneuvered up to your heart. X-ray contrast is injected to highlight your arteries. Any blockages or narrowing in your arteries, that may be causing your pain, can be seen. At one point in the procedure, you may experience a very warm, flush feeling. This is normal. We are testing the pumping action of your heart. This sensation should only last about 30 seconds, but you feel it all over your body.

After the Procedure

  • When the procedure is over, the cardiologist will remove the tube from your artery. We must control any bleeding, so he will apply pressure to the puncture site. 
  • You will be placed back on your stretcher and our porter will take you back up to your room.
  • You will be required to stay in bed, quite flat, resting quietly for 4 to 6 hours. During this period, you will be allowed to eat and drink.
  • After the physician has been up to see you and discussed the results with you, you will be discharged into the care of another adult. All patients are asked to stay in the city overnight, in case bleeding problems occur after your discharge.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 20, 2014 |
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