What is the angiography procedure?

Angiography procedure is a technique of X-Ray. Usually, it performed in a hospital radiology department.  It normally takes 30 minutes to two hours. The patient can go home on the same day, except in some cases. Angiography is the imaging of blood vessels with the use of contrast agents. A thin plastic tube called catheter placed directly in blood vessels. Then the doctor can search out the blockage in the coronary arteries. Also can measure the blood pressure and blood flow and can assess the heart chamber.

How does Angiography work?

To perform an angiography procedure the cardiac catheterization is the first step. A long thin tube (the Catheter) puts into an artery from the leg and threaded into the heart. After placing the catheter in the heart a dye is injected into the heart through that catheter. Now, a doctor can see and assess the heart chamber and the working of coronary arteries. The images recorded are called angiogram and can be viewed on the television monitor. So, a doctor can find the abnormalities. Like narrowing, blockage, inflammation, bleeding and others by the use of a liquid contrast agent. To make the blood vessels visible on images a contrast agent injected into an artery or vein.

Angiography Procedure

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your test. Diabetic patients should consult their doctor about food and insulin intake. Because their blood sugar levels can affect by stop eating and drinking.

Also, discuss the medicines you already taking. Your doctor may want to stop taking them before the test. Most likely some blood tests, electrocardiogram and a chest X-Ray can be performed before angiography procedure.

In the catheterization laboratory, you will see a television monitor, heart monitor and blood pressure machine. Near your examination table, you will see an X-Ray camera.

Finally, the area of the leg from where the catheter has to be inserted will be shaved and cleansed to prevent from the infection. The IV line will be maintained (A needle with a tube connected will be inserted into your arm). Through this IV a mild sedative will be injected to keep you relax throughout the test. The doctor will numb the catheter insertion area with an anaesthetic medicine and start the procedure.


After the procedure

After the angiography procedure, the patient will be in the recovery room for monitoring. The catheter will be removed and the wound will be pressed about 10 minutes. To prevent from bleeding and the patient will lie flat for about 04 hours. The patient can eat and drink after the procedure. Usually, a patient can be allowed to go home on the same day. But in some cases, the patient can be admitted in the hospital for one night.

Risks of Angiography


Five percent of angiography patients can face bleeding (haematoma). Only one in 500-1000 angiography patients needs any other procedure, surgery or blood transfusion to resolve the bleeding issue. If you found bleeding from the catheter insertion area, press that area firmly and inform the medical or nursing staff immediately.

A very few, almost less than one percent cases might face damage of a blood vessel. This also will be noticed by the doctor during the angiography procedure.

Contrast Medium:

A contrast medium containing iodine is used during the procedure. This can be cause an allergic reaction, but it has a very little amount of risk. The reaction can be itchiness, rash and difficulty in breathing. Patient must inform his medical team if he has a history of reaction to a contrast medium in past.

The patient should also inform about any other allergy that he has including food allergies.

Most noteworthy X-Ray imaging also has risk because it is a form of radiation.

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