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What kind of procedure is angiogram and when is it done?

Angiography is an imaging procedure, which is used when itis necessary to see the inside of organs or blood vessels. This procedure is particularly used in cases of various heart conditions when the heart chambers,veins and arteries have to be checked. The patient who is about to undergo thisprocedure has to be administered with a type of dye into the blood vessels ofthe heart, and an X-ray machine will take a number of images that will providea detailed insight into the inside of the blood vessels in question. Angiogramis another name for the image of the blood vessels checked.

Cases in which angiography is done are cases in whichpatients experience symptoms of some coronary artery disease, pain in thechest, neck or arm that other tests fail to explain, and symptoms that indicatechest injury, as well as in cases of heart failure, heart defect that iscongenital, or heart valve problems that call for a surgery. People who are athigh risk of experiencing heart attack or any other heart related problem, andthose who are about to have surgery may need to undergo angiography.

What risks and side effects are related to this procedure?

In spite of the fact that this is a very useful and helpfulprocedure, there is a small risk of complications and side effects, which iswhy procedures such as electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and stress test areusually done first. However, serious and major complications and side effectsare rare. Still, among the unexpected effects of this procedure the patient mayexperience blood clots, infections, allergic reaction to the dye or some medicationsthat may have been used during the procedure, irregular heart rhythm and radiationexposure form the X-rays. Besides these problems, what may also occur is aninjury to the artery, bleeding or bruising at the site of injection, as well asheart attack or stroke. Mild side effects that suggest a reaction to the dye include nausea, vomiting, skin rash or lower blood pressure, but all of these are common.

In order to reduce the risks to the minimum, it is importantto prepare well for this procedure, which means that after the midnight, thepatient should not eat or drink anything. Besides this, it is necessary to askthe doctor about the medications that may or may not be taken before the procedurein case a person suffers from diabetes or some heart condition.

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