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An angiogram is an X-ray exam that enables the radiologist (a physician who specializes in X-ray interpretation) to study your blood vessels and organs by injecting a contrast material into your blood vessels, so that they may be viewed on an X-ray film. This X-ray examination will assist your doctor in making a diagnosis.
Most heart disease is caused by atherosclerosis, a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries that convey blood to the heart. Coronary angiography is an invasive procedure that can show the degree of arterial blockage by enabling the healthcare provider to observe the blood flow to the heart through those arteries. It is carried out under local anaesthesia, either from the groin or from the arm.
The test is performed using special tubes called cardiac catheters. The catheters are inserted through a small puncture site on the skin near the groin and advanced through the blood vessels to the various regions of the heart.
The doctors will then take various measurements in the heart and blood vessels, example pressures, blood saturation and angiograms.
Usually, the patient would need to stay in the hospital for one day. In selected patients, the procedure may be carried out on an outpatient basis (Day Surgery), using special small catheters or if the study is performed through the arm.
If you''ve been advised to have an angiogram, don''t hesitate to ask your Parkway healthcare provider to explain the procedure, including any potential risks or complications. Talking about it can help you to understand what the test will show and how the healthcare provider can use the results to develop a treatment plan that''s appropriate for your medical needs.