What is a coronary angiogram?
It’s done to find out if your coronary arteries are blocked using a special X-ray test. An angiogram can help your cardiologist see if you need treatment such as angioplasty or stent, coronary bypass surgery (CABG) or medical therapy.
If blockages are found sometimes all you need to do is take medication and:
- Lower your blood pressure
- Stop smoking
- Lower your cholesterol
- Eat a healthy diet
- Stay physically active
What happens during the test?
- The angiogram is performed in cardiac catherisation laboratory (“Cath Lab”).
- You may be given medication to relax you, but you will stay awake.
- You lie on a table near a X-ray camera and other equipment.
- Your doctor numbs a spot either groin or arm and inserts a small tube(catheter) into an artery and up into the heart.
- Special fluid (contrast) is injected into tube so coronary arteries show up on x-ray.
- You may be asked to hold your breath or cough during procedure.
What might I feel?
- Slight pressure as the catheter is put in.
- Rarely some chest discomfort as fluid is injected.
- An urge to urinate
- Hot flush
- Rarely nausea
What happens after the test?
- The catheter will be taken out.
- A nurse will apply pressure for 10 minutes where the catheter was inserted.
- You will be asked to lie in bed for several hours. Either flat or sitting up depending on access point of catheter.
- You will feel sore where catheter was inserted.
- Your doctor will talk to you about your results.
- No heavy lifting for 5-7days.
- No driving for 48hrs after angiogram