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Includes Expert Content
How painful is an angiogram?
An_248189 posted:
I'm scheduled to have an angiogram next week, and I'm dreading it. How painful is the process and what is the most difficult aspect of it?
billh99 responded:
The worse part is having to lay flat in bed for 3 hours after it is done.

That is if it is done through the femoral artery (leg). That is the most common way in the US. but more and more they are using the arm which does not have as much restrictions.

You will be given a light sedative, but awake. The leg area (or arm) will be numbed up so there is no pain their.

No significant pain.
cardiostarusa1 responded:

"and I'm dreading it."

No doubt.

Especially since it is an invasive diagnostic procedure, make sure that you discuss, in advance, the possible risks and complications (be it using the femoral/groan approach or the transradial/wrist approach) thoroughly with your doctor.

And for good detailed info, see -


Cardiac Cath

Best of luck down the road of life.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)

Willowon2 responded:
I just had an angiogram this past Tuesday. They went into my right radial (arm) and I was sedated with conscience sedation (like a colonoscopy, if you've ever had that). You're medically awake but I didn't know/remember anything. The radial insertion recovery is much quicker than groin. Main difference is you don't have to lay flat for hours after but you do have a splint on your arm for 48 hours so the artery can heal. I was told I may have to spend the night if stent was inserted but I got to go home that afternoon. I had a stent inserted so procedure took about 90 min (without stent, I was told it would take approx 1 hr). I was able to sit up as soon as I woke up and able to eat as soon as I wanted to; I was hungry immediately This procedure could vary from doctor to doctor or hospital to hospital. I hope this puts you more at ease.
James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
I hope everything went well!

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