A coronary angiogram usually carried out under x-ray imaging to see the heart’s blood vessels. During the procedure a contrast medium (iodine solution) visible by X-ray is injected into the blood vessels through a plastic catheter. This provides a detailed and accurate picture of the impaired coronary arteries or the blocked sections of the arteries impeding the flow of blood to the heart. The whole procedure is performed under local anesthesia and the patient remains alert during the entire procedure.
Catheterization for coronary angiography is a safe procedure that is usually complication free.
Following the procedure, patients are monitored and are usually able to leave the hospital on the same day. The rehabilitation period is generally quite short and patients may be able to return to their normal activity on the same day as the procedure.
The results from the coronary angiogram can help the doctor determine whether the patient needs treatment such as angioplasty or stent, coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), or medical therapy.