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A heart biopsy is a procedure used to take small samples of your heart's tissue for testing. It may be done to check for rejection after a heart transplant or to test for heart problems.
It may seem scary to remove tissue from your heart. But the samples are very small. They should not affect how your heart works.
Your doctor put a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in your neck, groin, or arm. The catheter helped guide a small tool into one of the chambers of your heart. Your doctor used this tool to take tissue samples. Your doctor may also have injected a dye into your blood vessel and heart. The dye shows up on a screen so your doctor can see where to move the tool. Or your doctor may have used an ultrasound or echocardiogram to see where to move the catheter.
You may have swelling, bruising, or a small lump around the site where the catheter went into your body. You can do light activities around the house. But do not do anything strenuous until your doctor says it is okay. This lets the catheter site heal.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
After you call 911, the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: April 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Michael P. Pignone MD, MPH, FACP - Internal Medicine & Stephen Fort MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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