Coronary angiography images the coronary arteries, and is the gold standard test for coronary artery disease. It is performed by an interventional cardiologist in a sterile operating theatre environment.
Most people would have undergone other cardiac tests prior to an angiogram. These tests may require separate appointments and are usually planned the day before or the day of the procedure.
You will be asked not to eat or drink after midnight the evening before the procedure. A general anaesthetic is not necessary, but rather, medications to relax you will be given prior. Local anaesthetic is put into an area of skin of either your arm, or less likely the groin. A needle and then a tube (catheter) are fed into an artery and advanced to the heart. Dye (contrast) is then injected so that the heart and blood vessels can be imaged under X-ray. These images give our doctors information about the state of your heart and the exact location and severity of any narrowed blood vessel. This allows us to plan the best form of treatment to prevent heart attacks and control any symptoms you may have.
After the procedure you will have to lay flat for several hours to prevent bleeding. Most patients could go home the same night or the next day.