Angiogram


DESCRIPTION

An Angiogram is a special form of x-ray that identifies blockages or narrowing in the arteries of human body.Angiography is the name given to the process through which an angiogram is obtained. Patients suffering form Coronary Heart Disease, Angina and sudden cardiac arrest have to go through angiography for the exact information about their health condition. It is also used on an emergency basis in the case of heart attacks.

 

TYPES OF ANGIOGRAPHY


Coronary Angiography

Coronary Angiography is one of the most common angiograms performed to visualize the blood flow in the coronary arteries. X-ray images of the blood flow distribution within the coronary arteries allow the surgeon to view the size of the artery openings.


Microangiography

Microangiography is commonly used to visualize tiny blood vessels.


Neuro-vascular angiography

This form of angiography is becoming increasingly common. It is performed to visualize the arterial and venous supply to the brain.


Peripheral Angiography

Peripheral Angiography is performed to identify vessel narrowing inpatients with leg claudication or cramps, caused by reduced blood flow down the legs and to the feet, in patients with renal stenosis and can be used  in the head to find and repair stroke.

 

THE PROCESS

Depending on the type of Angiogram, access to the blood vessels is gained through the femoral artery (the arteries in the thigh) to look at the left side of the heart and through the femoral vein (a blood vessel that accompanies the femoral artery) to look at the right side of the heart and the venous system. With the help of guide wires and catheters (a tube which can be inserted into a body cavity, duct, or vessel), a type of contrast agent or dye which is used to enhance the contrast of structures or fluids within the body in medical imaging is added to the blood to make it visible  on x-ray images. The x-ray images so obtained may either be still images, film or motion images.



Duration of the process

the procedure may last up to 30-60 minutes.



HOSPITALIZATION PERIOD

Hospitalization of patient is not required after the procedure.


TIME SPAN FOR RECOVERY

Patients choosing to have angiography abroad can return to their home country within 24 hrs after the procedure.

 

AFTERCARE GUIDELINES
  • After the procedure, the patient will be monitored for 2 to 8 hours before discharging.
  • The patient is advised not to lift heavy objects or engage in strenuous activities for several days after the procedure.
  • Refrain from sexual activity for several days.
  • Regularly check the wound caused due to catheter insertion for signs of bleeding, swelling or infection.
  • Driving is not advised for a patient after angiography.
  • Immediately contact doctor in case of chest pain, numbness in legs, shortness of breath, blood in urine or in the case of bleeding, infection or swelling on the site of catheter insertion.

 

THE RISKS
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Allergic reaction to the dye used.
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Damage to the kidneys due to the dye used.
  • Blood clots which may cause stroke or heart attack.
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hemorrhage


RESULT

The angiographic images accurately reveal the extent and severity of all coronary artery blockages.  After the procedure, the radiologist and the vascular surgeon will analyze the x-ray pictures and discuss their findings. They will arrive at what type of treatment will suit the patient and his condition and inform him about that. This treatment will be discussed with the patient as it is the patient who shall decide whether to proceed with the treatment or not.


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