An angiogram is usually performed in a hospital setting, however, at Valley Cardiology, we perform this procedure in an office setting. The procedure is generally performed under sedation with the use of local anesthesia and is an effective X-ray procedure for detecting, evaluating and determining treatment options for blockages in arteries throughout the body.
To begin the procedure, a needle is inserted into the femoral artery (in the groin area). From this access point, catheters are threaded through your arterial system to one or more areas that your physician wants to evaluate. An iodine dye is injected to create contrast, allowing your physician to have a clear view of the dye flow to identify and assess blockages.
Depending on the complexity and extent of the procedure, an angiogram can last from 15-20 minutes, up to several hours. Patients typically go home the same day, but should avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours after the procedure, and be sure to follow physician's instructions.
Therapeutic procedures can also be performed during an angiogram. Angioplasty can be used to open arterial blockages identified by the angiogram. This procedure involves the insertion of a catheter equipped with an inflatable balloon, which is guided by X-ray and positioned at the site of the blockage. Once the catheter is in position, the balloon is inflated to expand the artery and open the blockage. The balloon is then deflated to remove the catheter, and a wire is left in place across the treated area. Contrast dye is injected to determine if the angioplasty procedure has been successful in improving blood flow through the treated area.