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Angiography and Angioplasty

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What are Angiography and Angioplasty?

Angiography procedure is carried out by the cardiologists. It is done in catheterization laboratory. The procedure is done through groin or wrist by inserting a catheter which is passed through the artery up to the heart. The catheter cannulates the arteries supplying blood and oxygen to heart (coronary artery). Radiographic contrast solution is injected through the catheter which then along with blood flows into the coronary artery. As the contrast flows down the artery, images are taken by fluoroscopy machine ( a form of x-ray). The image shows whether there is any obstruction (stenosis) in the coronary artery. Patient usually remains conscious and the procedure is done under local anesthesia.

If there is significant stenosis (more than 70 to 80%) and it is suitable for angioplasty, then after discussing with the patient and relative angioplasty is preformed. Angioplasty is a procedure in which the stenosed part of the artery is dilated by a balloon and subsequently a metallic stent is placed there. The stent keeps the stenosed part open.

Angiography and angioplasty although may appear very simple, are actually complex cardiac procedures and a lot of experience is required for a successful outcome. At Asian heart institute the doctors are experienced and competent enough to do these fine and complex procedures with effortless ease.

What will happen before an angiography?

You will already receive the information in your admission letter on how to prepare yourself for the procedure. Blood tests are done to assess the fitness for the procedure. The access sites (groin and the wrist) regions are shaved and prepared for the angiography procedure. Our doctors will explain to you the procedure in detail and discuss any questions that you might be having, and will also ask you for signing a consent form for taking permission to have your angiogram. If you have any medical problems then make sure to inform the doctors.

Are there any risks involved and when can be discharged?

Angiography and angioplasty complications are extremely rare. A detailed list of possible complications is provided in the consent form. Please go through the consent form in detail and if have any doubt, please ask the doctor for clarification. To have an allergic reaction to the contrast is extremely unusual. If you have any allergies please remember to inform the radiologist before the procedure is started. You can start eating and drinking as normal after the procedure once you feel like it. Angiography procedure requires at least 6 hours of hospitalization post procedure. However for monitoring purpose the patient is often kept admitted overnight. Angioplasty procedure requires ICU monitoring for 24 hours and then mobilization and monitoring in ward for another 12 to 24 hours.

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