Arterial or Venous Puncture Procedures

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOWING ARTERIAL OR VENOUS PUNCTURE PROCEDURES (e.g., Arterial Catheterization/Angioplasty, Electrophysiology Studies/Radiofrequency Ablation)

Care of Your Arterial Puncture Site

You may notice some bruising, firmness and/or tenderness at the puncture site. Over time, the bruising may extend to the knee, but all symptoms should resolve within 4 to 6 weeks. Bandaging of the area is not necessary. If you had a "plug" the collagen will absorb in the next 6-8 weeks.  You may notice a small lump at first.  This lump should get smaller not bigger. 

You MAY:

  • Bathe or shower
  • Take Tylenol for any discomfort
  • Resume light activities
  • Climb stairs, but go slowly and limit your trips upstairs for the first few days
  • Support the area with your fingers when you cough or sneeze

Try to AVOID:

  • Bending over or squatting down for the first 48 hours
  • Lifting, pulling anything more than 20-40 lbs. for 48 hours
  • Bathing or hot tubs for 1 week

For bright red BLEEDING:

Lie down and have someone apply firm pressure just over the puncture site for 20 minutes, then release slowly. If bleeding cannot be controlled, CALL 911.

Notify Your Doctor Immediately If:

  • The firm area or “knot” at the puncture site gets larger instead of smaller

You notice any of the following signs in your toes, foot or leg:

  • Numbness, tingling or severe pain
  • Coolness or change in color


Unless instructed otherwise, you may resume driving 48 hours after an uncomplicated arterial catheterization or angioplasty. If you have had a heart attack, check with your physician before you resume driving.

Return to Work

Unless otherwise instructed, you should be able to return to work almost immediately. This decision is based, in part, on what type of work you do. If you have had a heart attack, more time off may be advisable. Discuss this with your physician.

Sexual Activity

You may resume sexual activity as soon as you are comfortable enough to do so. If you have had a heart attack, you may need to wait longer to resume sexual activity. Discuss this with your doctor.

Certain medications may affect sexual response. Let your doctor know if you notice a change in your sexual desire or performance. Your medication or dosage can be changed to alleviate these problems. Notify your physician if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Rapid heart rate and respirations persisting 15 minutes after intercourse
  • Chest pain during or after intercourse
  • Extreme fatigue the day following intercourse


Light to moderate exercise activities that do not put stress on your puncture site may be resumed almost immediately after your procedure. Very strenuous or vigorous exercise should be avoided until you have checked with your physician.

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