Coronary angiogram

Cardiac catheterisation

This is a diagnostic procedure to look inside your heart's arteries to see if there are any narrowings or blockages

What is a coronary angiogram?

A coronary angiogram also called a cardiac catherisation, is a procedure used to diagnose the degree and severity of heart disease.

It can show a cardiologist where your arteries are narrowed or blocked, as well as how badly or how well your heart is pumping blood.

If your arteries have narrowed your cardiologist may proceed to performing a coronary angioplasty, an additional procedure where a small balloon is inserted into the artery that is blocked, then inflated to expand the artery and allow the blood to flow more freely.

Need to know

  • What happens during your procedure? icon plus

    The procedure is usually performed as a day case. You’ll be given local anaesthetic to numb your groin or wrist. You may also be given a light sedative. Your consultant will insert a small, flexible tube into an artery at the top of your leg or your wrist.

    Your consultant will guide a fine wire (catheter) through the tube to your heart's arteries. They will inject a special dye through the catheter and take some X-rays. This will help to show any narrowing in your arteries. You may feel a warm sensation while they do this. We may measure the blood pressure in one or more of your coronary arteries (pressure wire study) at the same time as your angiogram. 
  • How to prepare for an angiogram icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you how to prepare. It’s important to let us know if you’re taking any medication, as you may need to stop taking it beforehand. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved.

    We will explain these to you and answer any questions you have. If you’re allergic to shellfish, iodine or contrast agents, please tell us before you have your procedure as it could increase your risk of having an allergic reaction. You will be asked to stop eating and drinking a few hours before your test.

  • Afterwards icon plus

    You should be able to go home on the day of your procedure. Please arrange for someone to travel home with you. You should rest for three to four days to allow your wrist or the top of your leg to heal.

    Your consultant will discuss your results with you, and let you know when you can get back to your usual routines and activities. They'll also give you advice on medication, exercise, travel, diet and alcohol.

Our cardiologists

An angiogram is perfomed in the cardiac catheter lab of the cardiac unit, at each of our locations.

During this non-surgical procedure cardiologists are supported by physiologists and a team of cardiac nurses who will take care of you during your stay with us.

A coronary angiogram is usually performed as a day case procedure however on occasion an overnight stay may be required.

Our locations in London

From complex cardiac surgery to diagnostic cardiac tests and procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Private coronary angiogram in Birmingham

Request a cardiac appointment

If heart symptoms are affecting your quality of life, we’re here to help. Our heart team is available to book an appointment with a cardiac specialist.

Call us today

020 7616 4988
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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