If you have a family history of heart diseases, you must be curious about angiography. Many questions arise in your mind when you hear this word. Like what is the purpose of this test? How is this test performed? Is it a treatment or a test? Is it painful or not? The list goes so on….
The purpose of this article is to answer this type of question. If you are a heart patient or someone near you is a patient, you must give your 3 minutes to read this article. So that next time, when you heard the word ‘angiography’, you have a clear picture in your mind.
What is angiography?
Angiography is a diagnostic imaging procedure in which arteries and veins are examined by using a contrast agent and X-ray technology. The X-rays provided by an angiography are called angiograms.
What is the purpose of angiography?
This test is used to study narrow, blocked, enlarged, or malformed arteries or veins in many parts of your body, including your brain, heart, abdomen, and legs. So, It is recommended to a person who has symptoms such as chest pain, arm pain, jaw pain, leg pain, or difficulty in breathing. The angiography uses images from a powerful X-ray machine to study the flow of blood in the heart. The angiograms show blockages or narrowing in the blood vessels of the heart or any other part of the body.
An angiography is advised for the following:
- Any symptom of a heart attack like chest pain.
- Pain in neck, leg, jaw, or arm that does not have a specific cause.
- Congenital heart disease
- Heart Valve problems
- Blood vessel problems
- Chest Injury
Moreover, an angiography helps to diagnose the below problems:
- Blockage or narrowing of blood vessels
- Cerebral vascular disease
- Dysfunctional kidney or cysts or tumors in the kidney
- Detect the pattern of blood flow to a tumor to determine its spread and treatment
- Damage to the Blood vessel or internal bleeding after an accident
- Blood Clots and Aneurysms
What is the procedure of angiography?
The procedure is done under the local anesthesia or sometimes by a general anesthetist according to the situation. The doctor takes a complete medical history of the patient including the medicines taken by the patient and allergy history.
The patient is asked not to eat food at least 4 hours before the procedure. The medications are administered through the IV line. The patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen supply are monitored throughout the procedure.
The test itself takes 2-3 hours. During the procedure, a long flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into a large artery (generally, in the groin area or wrist). And the catheter is slowly and carefully threaded through the artery until its tip reaches the segment of the vessel to be examined by angiography.
A small amount of contrast material (iodine) is injected into the blood vessel segment through the catheter, and X-rays are taken. The contrast agent enables the blood vessels to appear on the X-ray pictures. The medical specialist studies the angiograms to determine the source of the problem and the extent of damage to the blood vessel segments that are examined.
Doctors decide on the treatment after studying angiograms. So, If they think blockage can be removed with angioplasty, they perform it like angiography. Angioplasty is a procedure to restore the blood flow by putting a balloon in the blood vessel. When the balloon is at the blockage site, the doctor inflates it to push the plaque against the wall. And this makes the passage of blood flow.
You can discuss the risks and complications related to your cardiac issues with your doctor. You can consult the best cardiologists in Lahore through Marham.
And for online consultation, you can visit the official Marham website or download the mobile app. You can find the best cardiologists in Pakistan online.