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Overview

If you have recently visited your cardiologist for any of the following problems,

  • Chest Pain (Angina)
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Dissatisfactory results during non-invasive tests
  • Sudden pain in the jaws, hands or neck that is not related to any other health issue

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Treatment

Chances are your doctor will ask you to go for a Coronary Angiography. Although, the medical term may sound ominous and scary, an angiogram procedure done is really helpful for early identification of the onset of any coronary disease.

To understand in everyday terms, Coronary Angiography is a method of taking X-Ray images of the coronary arteries or the arteries connecting to your heart, in order to find any issue or blockage in the arteries. The X-Ray images taken during this method are called angiograms.

The method of taking an CT angiogram test though not extremely complex, may still take anywhere between half an hour to three hours depending on the age, medical history and medical condition of the patient. During the angiogram test, the doctor will first relax the patient by giving sedatives. Then a small, hollow plastic tube called a catheter is inserted into the blood stream, through the arm or groin.

This catheter then reaches the coronary arteries when a contrast die is inserted to take the images for the cardiac angiogram. Once a sufficient number of images are taken during the angiogram procedure, the catheter is removed and the incision is closed by applying pressure. The patient is then advised to lie on their back for several hours.

The angiogram procedure is generally not painful and is comparable to blood tests. But, the overall effectiveness of the cardiac angiogram cannot be undermined. The clear identification of any blockages help the doctors to define the correct line of treatment including lifestyle changes, exercise and if required stenting and angioplasty.

An advancement in medical technology has led to the development of a newer method called CT angiogram, which is a non-invasive method of getting an angiogram test. As opposed to the traditional coronary angiography, the CT angiogram doesn’t involve the use of catheter, but relies on extremely powerful X-Ray imaging.

Like any other medical procedure, the angiogram test carries its own set of risks that include bleeding at the wound, chances of infection, bruising and swelling in some cases. Although, none of it is major, it is strongly advisable to consult the doctor in case of any doubts.

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