Angiography is the first test the Cardiologist recommends when one visits complaining of Angina pains. The word seems a bit overwhelming but it is simply an invasive lab work that tells the doctor what your arteries, veins, circulation system is like. According to renowned cardiologists in Delhi, after all this they decide the path to be taken for the treatment. Based on the results of angiography, the cardiologists and cardiac surgeon decides whether a heart surgery is required and if assertive than the plan of action is determined.
What is an Angiography?
Angiography is also known as arteriography or angiogram. This is a medical imaging technique that helps to see the insides of blood vessels and organs of the body. It is generally used by Cardiologists to visualise arteries, veins and the heart chambers.
A common technique is to inject a radio-opaque contrast agent into the blood vessel and imaging using X-ray based techniques such as fluoroscopy is performed. To explain the process in simple language; a small amount of hair may be shaved from your groin or arm where the catheter is to be inserted. After disinfecting the area a small incision is made at the entry site and a short plastic tube (sheath) is inserted into your artery. This is a long thin tube containing a particular medically safe dye which will be threaded into your arteries. The cardiologist will then take X-rays to ensure smooth flowing of the dye and check for obstructions in theflowing of the dye through your arteries. This indicates whether you have angina due to CAD.
When the process is over, the catheter is removed from your arm or groin and the incision is closed with manual pressure, a clamp or a small plug.
After monitoring the body in observation room for couple of hours the patient is allowed to go home.
Can I follow a normal routine after Angiography?
Upon discharge the cardiologist or cardiac nurse will advise you to drink plenty of fluids to help flush the dye from your body. You will be asked to eat a small portion of a healthy, non-greasy meal. You will be advised on when to resume medications, bathe or shower, return to work, and resume other normal activities.
What are my options if I don't want to for an Angiography?
You may discuss with your cardiologist and seek another option- a non-invasive alternative to traditional angiography, called magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). This technique uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which gives detailed pictures of body structures.