The word Angiogram conjures up the images of a hospital, doctors in their gowns, huge medical equipment and people looking very serious. None of this imagery is exactly a happy one. While a medical procedure cannot be a fun experience to go through, most of them are actually god-sent for you and your loved ones. An peripheral angiogram more so, since it is mostly correlated with issues of the heart, that may prove fatal if left unattended.
While coronary angiography does refer to angiograms of the heart, there is another equally important and common angiography procedure commonly used by doctors. Extremity angiography or Peripheral angiography as it is commonly known, is an umbrella term referring to the procedures to study the blood flow in the peripheral arteries. The peripheral angiography is prescribed when the doctor suspects a blockage or any other issues in your peripheral arteries – renal arteries, arteries connected to your legs and hands.
The Peripheral Angiography procedure is quite similar to the Coronary Angiography and the X-Ray images taken are called Peripheral Angiogram. During the procedure, a small, hollow tube called a catheter is inserted into the arteries by the doctor. A contrast dye is injected through the tube to capture the blood flow to take the X-ray images.
The peripheral angiogram is a relatively risk free, painless and quick, non-surgical procedure that helps your doctor to immediately diagnose the problem if any as well as suggest the line of treatment. The blockages may require different treatments like oral medication, angioplasty or stenting. The line of treatment as suggested by the doctor can be started as soon as possible, which helps you get back on your feet quickly, quite literally!
As with any medical procedure – surgical or non-surgical, Peripheral angiograms have their own list of do’s and don’ts, which when adhered to give better results.
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