Coronary Angiography:


What is Coronary Angiography?


Coronary Angiography is a procedure in which a contrast dye is injected into the coronary arteries. This allows the cardiologist to visualize the coronary arteries on an x-ray and view the flow of blood through them.



How is Coronary Angiography performed?


A thin wire called catheter is threaded through a blood vessel either in the groin (femoral) or arm (radial) after disinfecting and injecting local anesthetic at the site of insertion. The catheter is carefully threaded through your coronary arteries under guidance of an x-ray machine which shows real time images. A contrast dye is injected in to the catheter and an x-ray machine records images or 'angiograms'.  This procedure of Coronary Angiography takes 15-30 min in expert hands.. During this procedure, the patient might experience some flushing and / or palpitation which will subside quickly. 



Who is an ideal candidate for Coronary Angiography?


If the patient has chest pain which may or may not be increasing in intensity and duration, if the person has unexplained pain in jaw, neck or arm, if someone has congenital heart disease or congestive heart failure or is planning to have heart valve surgery, an ideal candidate for Coronary Angiography. 



What should one prepare for before Coronary Angiography?


Coronary Angiography is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. It is recommended that the patient restrict his food and water intake for at least 4-6 hours before the procedure. IT is performed in the Cath. Lab. of a hospital. One must remember to take all medications to the hospital.



What to expect during the recovery period following Coronary Angiography?


Following Coronary Angiography, one will either return to room or stay in the recovery room where heart will be monitored closely. It is recommended that one drinks plenty of fluids to help kidneys flush out the contrast dye used for the procedure. The patient may be discharged from the hospital same day or following day after the procedure. 



What is the outcome of Coronary Angiography?


Coronary Angiography is a relatively harmless procedure that can unfold tremendous amount of information and detail about the structure and function of coronary arteries. It is a diagnostic procedure that is used to confirm the diagnosis of the diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels. This procedure is also used to determine the extent and severity of disease, and to help plan the treatment. 








                                                                                        Normal Coronary Angiogram






Angiogram showing blocked coronary artery

Benefits of Coronary Angiography


Coronary Angiography is a very useful diagnostic tool that pin points to exactly where the blockage is located, indicates the extent of blockage, assess blood flow from rest of the heart tissue and it also evaluates the results of any previous  procedure