What is angiography?Why it is a risk factor for angiography

Coronary angiography, as the name implies, is a diagnostic procedure in which a doctor uses x-rays to examine the blood vessels in the heart.

If a doctor suspects that something is restricting blood flow to the heart, the doctor is likely to recommend coronary angiography. This procedure also helps to obtain clear images of blood circulation to various body organs. Angiography helps doctors diagnose major or minor disorders that affect blood flow to the heart, brain, or other organs in the human body.

Angiography is also useful for checking for vascular abnormalities such as poor blood flow, arterial fat deposits, and blood clots.

Why is the angiography procedure performed?

Angiography can detect many cardiovascular diseases such as coronary atherosclerosis, vascular stenosis, and aortic aneurysm. Your doctor can recommend this procedure to you for several reasons:

  • If there are signs of coronary artery disease such as angina (chest pain).
  • If you have problems such as severe and unclear pain in your chest, neck, left arm, or jaw.
  • If there is a new or sudden increase in chest pain medically known as unstable angina.
  • If you are diagnosed with congenital heart disease — a defect in the heart from birth.
  • If the test shows abnormal results in a non-invasive cardiac test such as an electrocardiogram or exercise stress test, myocardial perfusion imaging, or echocardiography.
  • When the doctor observes other vascular problems.
  • If you have a past or present chest injury.
  • If you have a problem with your heart valve that requires surgery.
  • If you have a stroke, heart failure, or heart attack.

However, complications may occur during angiography. This is why it is not performed directly until a non-invasive cardiac test such as a cardiac stress test, echocardiography, or electrocardiogram is completed.

There are other reasons why doctors recommend angiography.

  • Check blood vessel health before surgery
  • To detect blood vessels that grow tumors
  • Develop a treatment plan for problems such as stenting, coronary artery bypass grafting, and chemoembolization
  • To properly check the placement of the stent after surgery

What are the risks associated with angiography?

Like other cardiac and vascular procedures, coronary angiography carries certain risks, such as exposure to x-rays (radiation). However, serious complications are rare. Possible risks and complications include:

  1. stroke
  2. heart attack
  3. Arrhythmia (irregular rhythm of the heart)
  4. Damage to the kidney
  5. infection
  6. Blood coagulation
  7. Bruise
  8. Excessive bleeding
  9. Damage to the catheter-inserted artery
  10. Allergic reaction due to the drug or dye used in the procedure

How do doctors prepare for angiography?

In extreme cases, angiography is done in an emergency. However, most of this procedure is pre-scheduled so the patient can be prepared.

The guidelines to follow are:

  • There is no food and water consumption before angiography.
  • If you are diabetic, talk to your doctor about insulin doses and other oral medications before angiography.
  • Talk to your doctor about allergies and the details of the medications you are currently taking.

What do you expect from the angiography procedure?

Before performing the procedure.

Before you start angiography, your doctor is more likely to look up your medical history, such as the medications you are taking and allergies. After the medical history, the doctor will do a physical examination to look for vital signs, including pulse rate. And blood pressure.

Your doctor will look up your medical history and check for allergies and medications you are taking.

They do a physical examination to check your vital signs.

They check your blood pressure and pulse rate.

During the procedure..

Depending on the reason for the angiography and the age of the patient, the doctor will decide whether to give general anesthesia. However, for children, anesthesia is usually done during angiography.

After the x-ray machine is set up to take a clear image of the heart, the doctor makes a small incision in the skin to reach one of the arteries. Local anesthesia is given to the patient to paralyze the area of ​​the incision.

The doctor makes a small cut in the site of entry and inserts a sheath (short plastic tube) into the artery through it. He / she then inserts a catheter into your blood vessel through a sheath and attaches it to your coronary artery or heart.

This procedure, which involves passing through a catheter or through the body, should not cause pain or discomfort. However, if you feel any of these, please let your doctor know.

The doctor then injects a contrast agent or dye through the catheter. During this process, you may feel warmth and flushing for some time. However, be sure to inform your doctor if you feel uncomfortable. Contrast media can be easily detected on X-ray images. So, as it flows through your body, your doctor can see how and where it moves, and if there is any kind of obstruction in between.

Based on procedural guesses, doctors may use additional catheterization techniques such as stenting and balloon angioplasty to open occluded or narrowed blood vessels. Doctors may use other non-invasive diagnostic procedures, such as ultrasound, to assess obstruction.

Make a small incision in the wrist or groin and insert a thin, long, flexible tube into the artery. By using x-rays, the catheter is aimed at the area of ​​the heart being examined.

A special contrast agent is inserted into the tube so doctors can easily see and read x-rays.

A series of x-rays is taken as the contrast agent flows through the blood vessels. This helps to observe and detect obstructions and restricted areas in the heart.

Angiography usually takes about an hour. However, it may take longer depending on the complexity of the procedure.

After treatment..

If the catheter is inserted into the groin, it should lie flat for hours to avoid bleeding. During that time, pressure is applied to the cut (incision) to prevent bleeding and promote healing.

You can go home the same day, or you may have to stay in the hospital overnight again. Consume a lot of water to wash away the dye from your body. If you feel good, you can eat something.

Ask your health care team when to start taking medicine, showering or bathing, working, or other normal activities. Lift heavy objects and avoid strenuous activities for days.

Your site where the sutures have been made may probably remain soft for some time. It is slightly damaged and may have small bumps.

Post-treatment care..

  • Take a break for at least 24 hours
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Do not smoke or consume alcohol
  • Take the medicine according to the advice

What are the results observed after angiography?

Your doctor will perform angiography to check for vascular problems. You can identify the following:

  • Occlusion of blood vessels and arteries.
  • The amount of blood flowing through the blood vessels and the amount blocked.
  • Results of previous coronary artery bypass surgery.

Once the angiography is complete, the doctor can easily determine the next course of action. Based on the results of the angiography, the doctor will decide what type of procedure to start, such as coronary angioplasty.

When should I see a doctor?

After angiography, you should contact your doctor immediately if you encounter any of the following problems:

  • If the incision in the wrist or groin begins to bleed
  • If your pain is not relieved by painkillers
  • If the skin becomes inflamed, hot, or red
  • When discoloration occurs in the incision
  • If there is a hard lump near the incision

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