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Coronary angiogram


About coronary angiogram 

A coronary angiogram is a procedure to look inside your coronary arteries to see if there are any blockages. Your coronary arteries supply your heart muscle with blood. If they become blocked, it can cause problems such as tightness in your chest (angina).

A coronary angiogram can help a doctor to see where your coronary arteries are blocked and how badly they are affected. It can also show how well your heart is pumping blood. People have it before heart bypass surgery.

How can I prepare for my coronary angiogram?

Your doctor will explain how to prepare and what will happen during the coronary angiogram. Your hospital may ask you not to eat or drink anything a few hours before your angiogram. If you are allergic to iodine or contrast agents, tell your doctor before you have the procedure.

What happens during my coronary angiogram? 

Before the procedure, your doctor will talk you through the process and ask you to sign a consent form.

You will lie on a table near a camera and other equipment. Your doctor will inject a local anaesthetic into your groin or arm. This will make it feel numb and block any pain. One it has taken effect, he or she will pass a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) into your artery. Your doctor will take X-rays to direct the catheter through your artery and up into your heart.

Your doctor will then pass a special dye through the catheter and take some X-rays. This will help to see any narrowed areas or blockages in your artery. You may feel a warm flushing sensation.

Coronary angiogram

Your doctor will then take the catheter out. A nurse will press on your groin for around 15 minutes to stop any bleeding, or put a dressing on your arm. Alternatively, your doctor may insert an angioseal plug. You may need to stay lying on your back for a couple of hours.

The procedure usually takes around 30 minutes, but it can sometimes take longer.  You will be able to leave that day. However, you should arrange to have someone take you home after the procedure. 

Are there any complications or risks of my coronary angiogram?

As with every procedure, there are complications associated with coronary angioplasty. However these are rare. Speak to your doctor for more information.

Complications of coronary angioplasty include a build up of blood under your skin called a haematoma. This can happen if the area where catheter was introduced, bleeds. Some people have an allergy to the dye.

Recovering from coronary angiogram

You should recover coronary angiogram after a day or so. You may feel tired, and your wound may feel tender for a few days.

How much does coronary angiogram cost?

For a guide to what you could pay for your treatment, click here.

What to do next

Once you have decided that you would like to be treated at an HCA hospital, or would like further information, here's what to do next:

  1. Call one of our advisors on +44 (0) 20 7079 4399 or complete our web enquiry form.
  2. Check with your insurance company that your policy covers your treatment, and obtain authorisation.
  3. Visit or call your GP to obtain a referral letter and then call us to make an appointment to visit your chosen consultant and hospital at a time to suit you.
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