Angiography is a unique type of X-ray that lets your doctor view your coronary arteries to check if the blood vessels to your heart are narrowed or blocked.
Before the procedure
• Tell your doctor what medicines you take and any allergies you have.
• Tell your doctor if you've had a reaction to contrast dye or have had any kidney issues.
• Don’t eat or drink anything for at least 6 to 8 hours prior to the procedure. You will likely be told not to have anything after midnight, the night prior to the procedure.
• A nurse will run an IV catheter in your vein to give fluids, and medicine to relieve pain and help you feel less anxious.
• He or she will clean your skin and, if required, shave the area where the catheter will be inserted.
During the Procedure
• Your doctor will position a long, thin tube known as a catheter inside an artery in your groin or arm and guide it into your heart.
• A contrast dye is injected into your blood vessels or heart through the catheter.
• X-rays are done to show images of the inside of your heart and coronary arteries.
After the Procedure
• Your doctor or nurse will let you know how long to lie down and keep the insertion site still.
• If the insertion site was in your groin, you may be required to lie down with your leg still for several hours. If bleeding happens, a nurse will apply pressure to the area to control it.
• A nurse will check your blood pressure and the insertion site quite often to make sure you remain stable after the procedure.
• You may be asked to drink fluid to assist flush the contrast liquid out of your system.
• Have someone drive you back home from the hospital.
• If your doctor uses angioplasty to treat a blocked artery, you may stay the night in the hospital.
• It’s typical to find a small bruise or lump at the insertion site. The lump can be the collagen plug or stitch that you feel, or a small bruise. These common side effects should go away within a few weeks.
When to call your doctor
Contact your doctor right away if you have any of these:
• Chest pain
• Pain, swelling, redness, bleeding, or drainage at the insertion site
• Severe pain, coldness, or a bluish color in the leg or arm that held the catheter
• Fever over 100.4°F (38°C)
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