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Right Heart Catheterization


Right heart catheterization is a procedure to check the pressure in your heart and lungs. It is also called a Swan-Ganz or pulmonary artery catheterization. You may need this procedure if you have chest pain, shortness of breath, or decreased oxygen in your body. You may also need this procedure if you need heart surgery or have a heart condition.

Right Heart Catheter



Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or cardiologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care guidelines:

If the catheter was put in your groin, keep your leg straight as much as possible. If you need to cough, support the area with your hands. If the catheter was put into your arm, try not to move your arm. Ask your primary healthcare provider how long you will need to limit movement of your arm or leg.


Liquids help flush the dye used for your procedure out of your body. Ask your primary healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day, and which liquids to drink. Some foods, such as soup and fruit, also provide liquid.

Wound care:

Ask for instructions about how to care for your incision wound. You will need information on how to keep the area clean, and how often to change the bandages. Ask when you can bathe. Your primary healthcare provider will show you how to cover the area to keep it dry when you bathe.

Contact your primary healthcare provider or cardiologist if:

  • The skin around your wound is red, swollen, or has pus coming from it.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have trouble breathing, or your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • The area where the catheter was placed is swollen and filled with blood or is bleeding.
  • The leg or arm used for the procedure becomes numb or turns white or blue.
  • You are urinating less than usual.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
  • You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.