Coronary Angiography

As people age, the blood flow in the arteries is affected by the plaques formed on the vessel wall. Over time, as the plaques grow, the arteries harden and the tissue blood supply is impaired by narrowing the passage of blood. This process is called atherosclerosis. To find the degree of obstruction in the heart vessels, doctors perform a procedure called coronary angiography.

After placing a thin plastic tube in the groin (femoral artery) or wrist (radial artery) artery in the angiography procedure, special catheters are placed in the beginning of the heart vessels through this tube and a contrast agent (dye) is given through these catheters, making the heart vessels visible under x-ray. In this way, information about the heart vessels is collected. The procedure is performed in the angiography laboratory in the presence of a doctor, nurse and technician.

Things to do before angiography:

Do not eat or drink 12 hours before angiography

– Drink plenty of water 3-5 days before the procedure

– Inform your doctor about the blood thinners, sugar and blood pressure medications you have used.

– Inform your doctor if you have an iodine allergy. If you have an allergy, drug treatment will be arranged before the procedure.

– If the procedure will be done in the groin, this area should be cleaned of hair. This process will reduce the risk of any infection.

What to Expect:

No drugs other than sedative drugs are given before the procedure, the patients are awake during the procedure. After the entry area; groin or wrist is anesthetized with local anesthesia, a guide wire is placed in the artery. A short hollow sheath catheter is placed over this wire. This sheath is used through the catheter to view the heart vessels. With special catheters, the heart vessels are reached. Contrast material is given from the outer end of the catheter, and moving images are obtained from various angles under x-ray. The patient may sometimes feel warmth when contrast material is given. Depending on the catheter, sometimes as a result of the narrowing of the vein, the dye flow slows down and the pulse may decrease. Your doctor may ask you to cough. At the same time, pressure recordings are made from the heart and the aorta. In order to make the surgical decision in heart valve diseases, a thin plastic tube is sometimes placed in the inguinal vein and pressure is recorded with the catheters sent through it to the right side of the heart. Since there are no nerve endings in the veins, patients do not feel pain during catheter insertion. The duration of the procedure is usually around 30 minutes. As a result of the angiography procedure, your doctor will decide on angioplasty, bypass or drug therapy. If the angioplasty procedure is decided, it can be performed in the same session.

After the procedure is finished, the catheter is withdrawn. The plastic tube is left for a short time; if there is any complication, it can be intervened. After the plastic tube is removed, compression is applied for 10-15 minutes. If it is done from the inguinal vein, the patient has to lie flat for 4 hours. In some special suture materials or mushroom-like devices, early mobilization of the patient can be achieved by placing the sheath in the inguinal vein after the sheath is removed. If it is made from the wrist, after the sheath is removed, it is closed with a special bandage and the patient can stand up immediately.

Possible complications:

Complications from cardiac catheterization are very rare.

-Allergic reaction due to contrast material: mild nausea and vomiting are common. Serious allergic reactions may develop, albeit rarely.

-There may be a pea-sized or hazelnut-sized lump at the entrance. It will go away on its own in 2-3 weeks.

– Inform your doctor when there is pain, numbness, drainage at the entry site

-Infection at the entry site

– Vascular injury: aneurysm, hematoma, pseudoaneurysm may develop, albeit rarely.

– Rarely paralysis

– Pie failure

-Heart attack and/or death can occur, although very rarely

Things to consider after angiography

If there are no complications, most people can go back to work within a few days. After the procedure, plenty of water should be consumed for 2 days and heavy lifting should be avoided. A bath can be taken after 24 hours, but bathing should not be done for 2-3 days.

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