Coronary Angiogram & In-Hospital Services
There are several reasons why your doctor might or may have recommended Coronary Angiogram test. Here are a few common ones explained:
- Positive Stress Tests with or Without Symptoms (Silent Ischemia): A stress test is like an exercise test for your heart to see how it performs when it's working hard. If the results of this test aren't normal, even if you don't have any symptoms like chest pain or breathlessness, your doctor might recommend a coronary angiography.
- Chest Pain of Uncertain Cause: If you're experiencing chest pain, but your doctor isn't sure why, a coronary angiography can help figure out the reason. This is important because chest pain can sometimes signal a heart problem.
- Chronic Stable Angina: Angina is a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. If you've been diagnosed with chronic stable angina, which means you have chest pain that happens regularly and predictably, a coronary angiography can help your doctor see how severe the problem is and how to treat it.
- Acute Coronary Syndromes: Unstable Angina, Non-ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction: Acute coronary syndromes are serious heart conditions that include unstable angina (a sudden, severe chest pain) and a certain type of heart attack (non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction). If you have one of these conditions, a coronary angiography is often needed urgently to decide the best course of treatment.
A coronary angiogram is a special x-ray procedure, in which pictures are taken of the coronary arteries after injecting a dye which allows the cardiologist to see blood flowing inside the arteries to show whether they are narrowed or blocked.
We can measure blood flow using special flow wires, allowing the cardiologist to decide whether a narrowing is actually limiting blood flow. Using a combination of pictures (the angiogram) and flow data helps the cardiologist decide on treatment options, often proceeding to treatment with a balloon (angioplasty) or stent (stenting) at the same time.
(Preparation 1hr, Procedure 30 min – Allow approx 2-3 hrs)
You must have nothing to eat or drink for at least six hours before procedure.
Anticoagulants (warfarin, dabigatran) should be stopped stopped a number of days before the procedure, in consultation with the treating cardiologist.
Medications that help prevent your blood from clotting too easily, like aspirin, clopidogrel, or prasugrel, are usually kept going even when you're about to have a procedure. This is because these medicines are important if a device called a stent is going to be placed in your heart arteries.
If you're a diabetic patient, remember to bring your diabetic pills and insulin along with you on the day of your procedure. However, it is important you do not take any medications on the morning of your procedure.
If you're taking a diabetes medication named metformin (also known as Diabex or Diaformin), you will need to stop it 24 hours before your procedure. You should also not take it for 48 hours after the procedure is completed. Your doctor will instruct you on when to resume taking it.