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Visualizing Heart Health: An In-Depth Look at Coronary Angiogram

Visualizing Heart Health: An In-Depth Look at Coronary Angiogram

Updated at: 16 Jun 2023


Heart health is critical for a healthy life. But various tests are used to monitor how your heart works. Sometimes it cannot be very clear which test should to prefer to get the exact result. Suppose you have ever been recommended to have a coronary angiogram. In that case, you are likely curious about what it entails and why it is such an important procedure when assessing the health of ones heart. This technique helps cardiologists to see the blockages in the coronary arteries. In this blog post, we will discuss a coronary angiogram and how imaging technology has increased our understanding of heart disease so patients can lead healthier lives.

Also read: Potential of Angioplasty

What is a coronary angiogram?

A coronary angiogram can check the state of your hearts arteries. This procedure uses an X-ray test that checks for blockages and monitors blood flow. The coronary arteries are responsible for delivering blood to your hearts muscles, and when they are blocked, they can cause heart attacks that damage cardiac muscle tissue. Your healthcare provider may recommend a coronary angiogram to determine whether you need medicine, angioplasty, stenting or coronary artery bypass surgery.

Is a Coronary Angiogram necessary for you? Find out now.

A coronary angiogram might be necessary in several cases.

  • Abnormal stress test or EKG results.

  • Heart attack, valve problems, or heart failure diagnosis.

  • Upcoming heart surgery with potential for coronary artery disease.

  • Recent or changing chest pain (angina).

  • Unusual chest discomfort or shortness of breath with no clear cause.

Coronary angiogram work procedure.

It is easier to find out blockages in your coronary arteries through a coronary angiogram. By inserting a catheter and injecting contrast dye into your arteries, your provider can visualize the blockages through X-ray imaging. 

Typically narrowing arteries are caused by cholesterol plaque. This test allows early detection and necessary intervention. To prepare for the procedure, your provider will ask you to fast for eight hours and avoid certain medications at least one day before the procedure.

Get Prepared for Your Coronary Angiogram: What to Expect

It will take a half-hour to an hour-long for the coronary angiogram procedure. After the procedure, most people can go home on the same day. But spending the night in the hospital for recovery will be safe. Remember to wear the hospital gown provided for your test and use the restroom before the angiogram to avoid any discomfort. For safety concerns, please do not plan to drive yourself home on the day of the procedure. Arrange for transportation from the hospital after you have been discharged.

What is involved in a coronary angiogram?

  • During a coronary angiogram, you will lie on your back and receive medication to help you relax, while an electrocardiogram monitors your heart rhythm. Your cardiologist will access your artery through your groin or arm, using medicine to ease discomfort.

  • A tube will be placed in your artery, allowing your cardiologist to investigate your coronary arteries through the surface of your heart using wires and catheters. X-rays will help provide visual insight from all angles.

  • Once the catheter reaches your heart, dye will be injected into the tube to track its progress through your artery. This may cause a warm sensation. The dye will also highlight any blockages. So that healthcare provider may be able to clear with angioplasty and a stent procedure.

  • Your provider can determine if cholesterol is impeding blood flow, enabling you to get the right treatment to clear your arteries. Find out more about what to expect during a coronary angiogram today.

Post coronary angiogram - what to expect.

After your coronary angiogram, your healthcare provider will remove the catheter and apply a bandage to prevent bleeding. Depending on where the catheter was inserted, you may feel soreness and need to lie on your back for a few hours. While most patients are discharged the same day, complex procedures may require an overnight stay.

As anesthesia was used during the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home. Afterwards, you may experience fatigue, sensitivity, or bruising around the wound area for up to a week. Your doctor may advise you to limit your activities for a couple of days.

Are there any risks involved in getting a coronary angiogram? 

While complications are unlikely with a skilled healthcare provider, those with age, diabetes, or kidney disease might be more susceptible.

Look out for these potential risks:

  • Low BP

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke

  • Blood clots

  • Irregular heartbeats

  • Kidney damage leading to dialysis

  • Pain or infection at the injection site

  • Reactions to anesthesia

  • Fluid buildup around the heart causes pressure

What results can you expect from a coronary angiogram?

If your healthcare provider tells you that your blood vessels are not blocked and your heart is getting enough blood, it is a normal result.

But if something is blocking your coronary artery or arteries, your provider can identify which and how severe the blockage is.

After the procedure, it is important to look for potential complications. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience excessive bleeding or swelling at the catheter insertion site. Also, if you are experiencing decreased circulation in your arms or legs, tell your doctor about each symptom.


Though a coronary angiogram may initially feel intimidating. But understanding the process can help your healthcare provider to make the right treatment plan. To ensure that you will get the best results, follow your healthcare providers instructions when preparing for the procedure. Additionally, take all medicines provided and recommended to maintain optimal heart health. Dr Asif performs the Angiogram test quite smoothly in Hyderabad. You can speak with him if you have questions about the coronary angiogram or anything related to heart health. Book an appointment with Dr Md Asif and clear all your doubts related to your heart.




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