Coronary angiography or coronary angiogram is a diagnostic intervention that uses x-ray imaging technology and cardiac catheterization technique to examine and assess the heart vessels and their functioning. Coronary angiography may also be used to treat certain conditions as it is an imaging tool that can help doctors to guide the surgical equipment and treat an ailment via a minimally invasive approach.
Coronary angiography may be done for any of the following reasons:
- To assess the symptoms associated with coronary artery disease, like chest pain
- Unstable angina
- Congenital heart defects
- Abnormalities in a non-invasive stress test
- Vascular problems triggered by an injury sustained in an accident
- Severe heart valve abnormalities Or malformations
- The procedure is performed under the influence of sedatives which are given intravenously.
- You will be required to lie down on a table throughout the procedure. Straps will be fastened across your chest and limbs to hold you still, as the table will be tilted.
- This is followed by the placement of electrodes on the chest. This helps to keep a track of your heart function. The doctor will also keep a track of your vitals.
- A small incision will be made near your groin or on your arm or leg, to insert a catheter, which is then guided forward using detailed imaging guidance.
- A contrast dye material will be injected for better visualization. As the dye passes through the vessels, the doctors are clearly able to see if there is any restriction that is slowing down the flow of blood.