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Coronary Angiography is a technique that uses medical imaging to view the organs and blood vessels of the patient’s body. This is particularly performed to view the veins, arteries, and heart chambers to diagnose blockages and other problems. It is done by using an X-Ray based technique, like fluoroscopy (Immediately obtains moving pictures using X-Ray).
A contrast agent like a special dye is injected in the blood stream via a catheter (thin plastic tube), which highlights the blood vessels. The blood vessels materialize in white on the angiogram as they move. Then a few x-rays are taken and studied.
Coronary Angiography is performed for various reasons, like:
The coronary angiography is performed by a cardiac physiologist (who is trained to carry out cardiac examinations), a cardiologist (a doctor specializing in heart conditions), and a radiographer (a professional who carries out the imaging process). There is also a nurse present who stays with the patient.
To prepare for an Angiography, you should tell the doctor if:
Further, you should:
Coronary Angiography usually takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to be performed. The procedure is performed in the X-ray room.
You will be asked to lie on the X-ray table, that has a few cameras that can move around your chest area for taking pictures.
Sedatives will be given to you via the intravenous line (IV) instered in your arm. You will be asked to stay awake during the procedure so that you can do deep breathing, coughing and move your arms.
Catheter will be inserted into your blood vessel via arm or groin. Catheter will be tactfully threaded to your coronary arteries. Blood pressure and oximonitor will be used your blood. Anticoagulants will be given to ensure there is no blood clotting on the catheter or coronary artery.
You will feel a brief flushing when a contrast material (dye) is inserted in your body through the catheter. The dye moves through your arterties and the doctor observes the flow. X-ray images will be taken continously.
Cardiac catheterization is entirely a safe procedure when performed by a team of expert doctors. Although rare, there are certain risk involved.
Following are the risks involved with cardiac catheterization: