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Coronary Angiography

Synonyms: Cardiac Angiography, Angiogram

What is Coronary Angiography?

Coronary Angiography is a procedure in which a non-ionic contrast dye is injected into the coronary arteries. This allows your cardiologist to visualize the coronary arteries on an x-ray and view the flow of blood through them.

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Where can I get Coronary Angiography?

Country Cost with MedSolution
France $7,363 (inquire)
India $937 (inquire)
Cost of procedure performed in the US: $3,000 to $6,000.
All prices are in US dollars and include the cost of the procedure and minimum hospital stay. Estimates and minimum hospital stay will vary depending upon individual needs and requirements.

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How is Coronary Angiography performed?

A mild sedative is injected intravenously to help you relax before Coronary Angiography procedure. During the Coronary Angiography, a thin wire called catheter is threaded through a blood vessel either in your groin or arm after disinfecting and injecting local anesthetic at the site of insertion. The catheter is carefully threaded through your coronary arteries under guidance of an x-ray machine which shows real time images as the procedure of Coronary Angiography is being conducted. A contrast dye is injected in to the catheter and an x-ray machine records images or 'angiograms'. These angiograms can either be stored as x-ray images on films or they can be archived in the form of digital images on a computer. The procedure of Coronary Angiography may last from one to several hours. During the procedure of Coronary Angiography, you might experience some flushing and / or palpitation which will subside quickly.

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Who is an ideal candidate for Coronary Angiography?

If you have chest pain which may or may not be increasing in intensity and duration, if you have unexplained pain in your jaw, neck or arm, if you have congenital heart disease or congestive heart failure, if you are planning to have heart valve surgery, if you have problems with your blood vessels like aortic aneurysm, if you have suffered a traumatic injury to your chest, then you are an ideal candidate for Coronary Angiography.

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What should you prepare for before Coronary Angiography?

Coronary Angiography is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. It is recommended that you restrict your food and water intake for at least 8 - 10 hours before the procedure. Coronary Angiography is performed in the Cath. Lab. of a hospital. Remember to take all your medications to the hospital and also remember to discuss about your insulin needs (if any) with your surgeon before the Coronary Angiography procedure.

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What to expect during the recovery period following Coronary Angiography?

Following Coronary Angiography, you will either return to your own room or stay in the recovery room where your heart will be monitored closely. When the Coronary Angiography is over, the catheter may or may not be removed. It is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids to help your kidneys flush out the contrast dye that was used for Coronary Angiography procedure. You may be discharged from the hospital same day or following day after the Coronary Angiography.

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What is the outcome of Coronary Angiography?

Coronary Angiography is a relatively harmless procedure that can unfold tremendous amount of information and detail about the structure and function of your coronary arteries. Coronary Angiography is a diagnostic procedure that is used to confirm the diagnosis of the diseases affecting your heart and blood vessels. This procedure is also used to determine the extent and severity of your disease, and to help plan your treatment.

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B . R . A . N . D . of Coronary Angiography

Benefits of Coronary Angiography

  • Coronary Angiography is a very useful diagnostic tool. Coronary Angiography pin points to exactly where the blockage is located, indicates the extent of blockage, assess blood flow from rest of the heart tissue and it also evaluates the results of any previous Coronary Angiography procedure.

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Risks of Coronary Angiography

  • Allergic reaction to the contrast dye
  • Irregular heart beat (arrhythmias)
  • Heart attack and death during the Coronary Angiography procedure
  • Stroke
  • Injury to the internal wall of the artery where the catheter was threaded in.
  • Perforation of coronary artery.
  • Kidney damage
  • Excessive bleeding (hemorrhage)
  • Infection
  • Blood clots

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Alternatives to Coronary Angiography

  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) – In this procedure detailed images of your heart are captured using radio waves in a strong magnetic field without the use of catheters or x-rays
  • CT Angiography – This method does not require catheterization within the heart reducing some of the risks associated with Coronary Angiography.
  • Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA) – This method combines the X-ray techniques of Coronary Angiography with a high-speed computer to improve the resolution of images obtained.
  • Cardiac Catheterization – This procedure is very similar to Coronary Angiography and consists of passage of a catheter in the coronary artery

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Now or Never

  • During the procedure of Coronary Angiography, images are captured from several different angles to assure thoroughness of the procedure. The procedure of Coronary Angiography reveals information like blockage, bulging, weakness in blood vessel wall or a leaky blood vessel thus providing you an opportunity to take care of these problems before they become serious and life threatening.

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Decision to have Coronary Angiography

  • Coronary Angiography is considered to be a gold standard by cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons for the diagnosis of conditions affecting your heart and blood vessels. The technique of Coronary Angiography is superior to other alternatives that are offered as it can diagnose congenital heart diseases, aneurysms, assess cardiac function and can also be performed if you have a pacemaker.

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Keywords: Coronary Artery Disease, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Congestive Heart Failure, Arrhythmia, Stroke, Kidney Failure, Lung Collapse, Healthy Lifestyle

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