Angiogram is a common method currently being used for diagnosis of various heart conditions. The process is sometimes also referred to as Cardiac Catheterisation. The procedure involves putting a catheter (a slim, flexible tube) inside a blood vessel in patient’s wrist or groin. A contrast agent is then injected into the tube which is ultimately made to reach the patient’s heart. The use of dye (contrast agent) makes it easier to view clearer X-Ray images of the patient’s heart. The basic purpose of angiogram is to detect any blockade of a blood vessel in your heart as a blocked blood vessel may result in your heart’s poor ability to pump blood. Note that the procedure of Angiogram can be performed on all of the following except pregnant women. Pregnant women are advised to consult GP before opting to Angiogram as the X-Ray used during the procedure may harm or affect the embryo development inside the mother’s womb.
- Newly Borns
Heart is a vital organ and its proper functioning is crucial to a healthy and fit life. A doctor who specializes in treating heart diseases is known as a Cardiologist and heart problems are generally referred to as Cardiac Problems. Listed below are some of the symptoms which may indicate that your heart is not functioning properly:
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest Aches
- Feeling of Dizziness
- Feeling of general weakness
- Passing out
- Feeling of Nervousness
- Too much sweating
In order to prepare you for the procedure of Angiogram, your chosen/assigned hospital or doctor may ask you to follow some or all of the steps listed below:
- Shaving your groin area
- Stop intake of any anticoagulant medication (e.g. Aspirin, Heparin etc.)
- Avoid eating anything before at least 4 hours of having your angiogram
The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthetic conditions which keep the person from feeling anything such as pain, fear etc. while they stay wide awake. In some cases the doctor may have to sedate the patient in order to free them of any anxiety or stress. Generally, all doctors discuss everything that Angiography involves right at the beginning with their patients. This initial discussion usually serves as an opportunity for the patients to gain maximum knowledge about the procedure including the risks involved, the side-effects, the benefits and the possible outcomes. At the end of this discussion, the patient is asked to read through and sign a consent form which lets the doctor know that you are up for Cardiac Catheterisation.