Dr. Vineet Sankhla may recommend that you have a coronary angiography if you have symptoms of coronary artery disease, such as chest pain (angina), pain in your jaw, neck or arm that can’t be explained by other tests or new/increasing chest pain (unstable angina).
The purpose of the angiogram is to assess whether there are any narrowings in the coronary arteries that may be producing your symptoms or causing impaired blood flow to the heart muscle. The angiogram is best available method whereby the exact location and nature of blockages in the individual arteries to the heart muscle can be assessed. The test is necessary before any definitive procedure can be recommended to actually relieve the obstruction, such as coronary angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery.
A coronary angiogram is a procedure that uses X-ray imaging to see your heart’s blood vessels. During a coronary angiogram, a type of dye that’s visible by an X-ray machine is injected into the blood vessels of your heart. The X-ray machine rapidly takes a series of images, showing a detailed look at the inside of your blood vessels. If necessary, your doctor can perform procedures such as angioplasty or stenting during your coronary angiogram.
What to expect
For this procedure you will have to be admitted to the hospital and go to the cardiac catheterization laboratory. Here you will lie on a bed covered with sterile drapes. The doctor together with the nursing staff and technologist will do the procedure. There are two points of possible access into the body’s blood vessels: the groin or the wrist. The doctor will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area, you will still feel him working in the area, but shouldn’t experience any pain. He will then use a needle to gain access to the arterial system (groin: femoral artery / wrist: radial artery). A small plastic tube will then be inserted into the artery and advanced to the heart where it will be used to administer the dye used to view the different arteries of the heart. Without any complications patients should be able to go home the same or the following day.