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We recommend that you also read our articles: "You and Your Physician" and "Angioplasty 101", if you haven't already, since those articles may answer some of these questions below for you.   You may print out this list of questions or download this page to your word processor (Word format or text file) for editing. (You also can save the file to your hard drive by right-clicking the above links and choosing "Save Target As".)

Tests and Treatments

Diagnostic Tests
___ What tests have I been given?
___ What further tests do you recommend and why?
___ Will these tests cause discomfort or hurt?
___ Are there any risks to these tests?
___ How will these tests affect treatment decisions?
___ When will I get the results and who will explain them to me?

Diagnostic Catheterization Test Results
___ Do I have Coronary Artery Disease?
___ How many blockages do I have?
___ Where are the blockages located?
___ Is my left ventricular ejection fraction normal?

Treatment Options
___ What treatments are available?
___ What medical treatment or lifestyle changes would be helpful?
___ Why are you recommending a catheter-based treatment?
___ What might happen if I don't choose angioplasty?
___ What are the risks of the procedure?
___ What are the expected results?
___ If you are planning a diagnostic catheterization, will you doing an angioplasty in the same session if appropriate?
___ Might you be implanting a stent?
___ Are you considering a drug-eluting stent?

About The Cardiologist
___ Do you specialize in certain procedures?
___ Who will be doing my procedure?
___ How many of these procedures does this operator do each year? (The American College of Cardiology guidelines recommend a threshold of at least 150 angioplasties annually per operator.)


The Angioplasty Procedure

Before the Procedure
___ Can I eat/drink before the procedure?
___ How best can I prepare?
___ What medications should I take?
___ Any medications/activities I should avoid?
___ Are there allergies, sensitivities, or other medical conditions I may have that you need to know about? (If you know of any, especially allergies to stainless steel, nickel or other metals, make sure your physician knows this.)

About the Day of the Procedure
___ Where should I check in?
___ Who can I bring with me?
___ How long will I be waiting?
___ Who will answer my questions while I am being prepped and waiting?
___ Where can my family wait for me?

During the Procedure
___ What anesthesia choices do I have?
___ What if I feel more pain than I expected?
___ What if I become anxious?
___ What will I need to do during the procedure?
___ What is the room like, what will happen?
___ How many people will be there?
___ How long will the procedure take?

___ Will you use manual compression and a clamp or a vascular closure device such as a seal?
___ How long will I be immobilized?
___ Will there be tubes/monitors?
___ Who will be with me?
___ What do I do if I have a problem, such as pain, bleeding or anxiety?
___ When can I go home?


After Angioplasty

At Home
___ What symptoms or problems should I watch for?
___ Who do I call, or where can I go, if I experience symptoms?
___ When can I resume normal activities?
___ When will I come back for a follow-up exam?
___ Will I need rehabilitation?
___ How will my coronary disease be monitored?
___ What medications will I need to take?
___ Are there side effects to these medications?

___ Am I likely to need additional procedures?
___ What can I do to prevent future blockages or advancement of coronary artery disease?
___ Do you offer post-procedure support; help with lifestyle changes such as exercise, diet or disease management programs?

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