What Happens When You Get an Angiography?

Getting a fast and accurate diagnosis is crucial when a patient experiences complex health issues like heart attacks and strokes. Angiography is an advanced imaging technique that allows medical professionals to visualize blood vessels and identify potential problems. This technique makes it possible for experts to generate an angiogram, a visual representation of the internal blood vessels. Doctors may recommend angiography tests for extracting coronary, renal, pulmonary, or cerebral angiograms. These diagnostic tests produce X-ray images of the blood vessels around specific body parts to help doctors analyze internal problems. Let’s discuss how angiography works and what happens you go for this test.

What is the purpose of angiography?
Angiography reveals blockages in blood vessels and helps medical professionals assess plaque buildup in the arteries. It also supports the identification of malformed or enlarged blood vessels inside the body. Problems in these blood vessels can give rise to health complications in crucial body parts like the heart, brain, kidneys, and lungs. A doctor may ask for a coronary angiogram if they suspect abnormalities like atherosclerosis. On the other hand, they may recommend getting a cerebral angiogram in case of a stroke or aneurysm.
Angiography uses a contrast dye to generate an image. It uses technologies like X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Computerized Tomography (CT). The image allows the doctors to determine the blood flow through these vessels and ascertain anomalies in the body.

What Happens Before Angiography?
When a person experiences pain in their chest, jaws, neck, arm, or other parts of the body that cannot be traced to any other medical issue, angiography may be necessary. The doctor will perform a comprehensive physical examination to identify pre-existing issues. They may also recommend blood tests to check the clotting function. Then, the doctors provide detailed instructions to follow before undergoing this test.

How to Prepare for Angiography?
Typically, doctors recommend the following measures before undergoing angiography:

  • Food: The patient should not consume food at least twelve hours before the test. However, they may have water, clear broth, and plain tea.
  • Medication: The patient may not take a dose of short-acting insulin on the day of their angiography test. However, taking long-acting insulin as per regular dosage is allowed. They must avoid blood thinning medication from three days before, anti-platelet medicines five days before, and metformin two days before the test.

What to Expect During the Angiography Test?
The patient receives local anesthesia before the medical professionals insert a catheter into one of the large arteries. The site of catheter insertion is usually the wrist or the groin. After the catheter reaches inside, the medical team injects a contrast dye and takes an X-ray image of the blood vessels. After the procedure, they remove the catheter and use a pressure pack to contain the bleeding. The dye leaves the body through urine over the next few days. 

Angiography can be a vital diagnostic procedure to identify severe health complications. You can contact a reliable healthcare provider to arrange for angiography with the doctor’s advice.