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Coronary Angiogram

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The image of a human heart with pulses generated from the heart illustrates a Coronary Angiogram.
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Coronary Angiogram‑ An Overview

The Coronary Angiogram is like a window to your heart. It is one of the procedures that come within cardiac catheterization or cardiac cath. Cardiac catheterisation helps cardiologists assess your heart’s structure, number of blockages, and valve functioning. A coronary angiogram specifically helps assess the number of blockages. It also helps identify blood flow restrictions to your heart and is vital in major cardiac treatments.

As a Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Dr. Karthigesan is the go-to person for a coronary angiogram or any other cardiac consultation for your heart health. Practising in Chennai, Dr. Karthigesan is reputed for his compassionate cardiac care and expertise in the latest cardiac treatments.

A piece of medical equipment for Coronary Angiogram.
An image of a person holding his chest in pain. A heart picture in the inset with pulse signals illustrates a heart problem.

Coronary Angiogram: Why is It Performed?

Dr. Karthigesan may recommend an angiogram if you have the following symptoms:

  • A defective heart valve requiring surgery
  • Blood vessel problems or chest injuries
  • Congenital heart issues
  • New or increasing pain in the chest, like unstable angina
  • Abnormal results from non-invasive heart diagnostic tests
  • Pain in your jaw, chest, or neck that requires further diagnosis
  • Symptoms of angina and coronary artery diseases

Coronary Angiogram: Evaluative Tests

Dr. Karthigesan may recommend the following tests before an Angiogram:

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Chest x-rays
  • Treadmill tests (TMT)
  • CT Coronary angiogram
  • Standard blood tests
A close-up shot of a medical expert monitoring the tests for Coronary Angiogram.
A medical expert holding a model heart illustrates heart care with a coronary angiogram.Decorative red spiral.Decorative blue spiral.

Coronary Angiogram: The Procedure

Most angiogram procedures do not last more than a day Your doctor may allow you to return home the same day.

  • The procedure begins with an anaesthetic administered around the wrist or groin to numb the area.
  • Once the area is numb, a thin catheter is inserted into your artery and guided towards your heart with the help of dynamic X-rays displayed on a monitor.
  • Once the catheter is positioned, your doctor measures your heart’s functions and takes images of the valves, chambers and blood vessels after injecting a contrast X-ray dye. The contrast dye will not cause any pain, but you may feel a tingling sensation when it is injected into your body.

An angiogram procedure will generally last up to twenty to twenty five minutes. During the procedure, an angioplasty may be performed to open your clogged arteries.

Coronary Angiography: Before, During & After Procedure Care

  • Discuss your medical history, allergies, reactions to medications, kidney diseases, asthma, or any other concerning medical issues.
  • Inform your doctor of any existing medication you are taking.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything at least four to six hours before your procedure.
  • You will be made to lie on a special table in the Cath Lab, where a monitoring device records your pulse throughout the test.
  • A nurse will clean and disinfect the skin on your groin or wrist and cover your body with sterile drapes.
  • Dr Karthigesan will administer local anaesthesia in your groin. This way, you will not feel any pain when inserting the catheter since the area will be desensitised.
  • You may also feel a warm sensation as the dye is injected into your artery.
  • Your blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen level, breathing rate, and wound site are constantly monitored.
  • You will be administered IV fluids, but will be permitted to return to a normal, low-cholesterol diet when you feel okay.
  • After four hours, you may be able to sit up and go home up to six hours after you've recovered.
  • You may need to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your treatment further.

Coronary Angiogram: The Benefits

  • A coronary angiogram is the gold standard for diagnosing coronary heart disease. It helps assess the severity of coronary artery disease.
  • The cardiac catheterisation procedure is pivotal in diagnosing heart arrhythmias, congenital heart defects, and aneurysms.
  • Doctors rely on a coronary angiogram’s results to understand if your heart is receiving adequate blood supply and the presence of blockages.
  • Doctors can do an angioplasty during an angiogrphy and, if required, insert a stent to rectify the blockage and improve blood flow.
Decorative red spiral.Decorative green rectangle.Decorative blue rectangle.
Save Your Heart From

Coronary Artery Disease

A comprehensive cardiac check-up can help keep your heart healthy for life. Consult with Dr. Karthigesan today.

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Coronary Angiography: Your Queries, Our Responses

One of the main cardiac issues that warrant a coronary angiogram is coronary artery disease, which happens when your arteries become clogged with plaque, a fatty substance. When plaque builds up in your arteries, they become narrow and constrict the free flow of blood to your heart.

Dr. Karthigesan may also recommend a coronary angiogram if you need a:

  • Stenting or angioplasty
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG).
  • Medication to help you lead a better lifestyle

Generally coronary angiogram is a very safe procedure and is commonly done. The risk percentage is less than 0.1%. Some of the very rare risks associated with it are:

  • Unexpected swellings or bruises at the puncture site
  • Sudden kidney impairment
  • Allergic reaction to medication and X-ray dye
  • Infection, bleeding, or injury to the artery

Normal results mean good news. It indicates that your blood vessels are clear and that nothing is blocking the blood from travelling to or from your heart.

Abnormal results warn about possible blockages in your coronary artery or other arteries. By analysing your results, Dr. Karthigesan will be able to tell you which arteries have blocks, where, and how bad their condition is.

Angiograms are performed by cardiologists who specialise in treating heart conditions. Dr. Karthigesan is a Senior Consultant Cardiologist with 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages.

After you’ve had a coronary angiogram, you should look out for swelling or bleeding at the site where your catheter is placed and for any blood circulation issues in your limbs. If you experience either problem, you should immediately consult Dr Karthigesan to discuss further treatment plans.

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