Angiography is a special type of X-ray that lets your doctor view your coronary arteries to see if the blood vessels to your heart are narrowed or blocked.
Before the procedure
Tell your doctor what medicines you take and any allergies you may have.
Tell your doctor if you’ve had a reaction to contrast dye or have had any kidney problems.
Don’t eat or drink anything for at least 6 to 8 hours before the procedure. You will likely be told not to have anything after midnight, the night before the procedure.
A nurse will place an IV catheter in your vein to give fluids, and medicine to relieve pain and help you feel less anxious.
He or she will clean your skin and, if necessary, shave the area where the catheter will be inserted.
During the procedure
Your doctor will place a long, thin tube called a catheter inside an artery in your groin or arm and guide it into your heart.
He or she will inject a contrast dye through the catheter into your blood vessels or heart chambers.
X-rays are taken to show images of the inside of your heart and coronary arteries.
After the procedure
Your doctor or nurse will tell you how long to lie down and keep the insertion site still.
If the insertion site was in your groin, you may need to lie down with your leg still for several hours. If bleeding occurs, a nurse will apply pressure to the area to control it.
A nurse will check your blood pressure and the insertion site frequently to make sure you remain stable after the procedure.
You may be asked to drink fluid to help flush the contrast liquid out of your system.
Have someone drive you home from the hospital.
If your doctor uses angioplasty to treat a blocked artery, you will stay the night in the hospital.
It’s normal to find a small bruise or lump at the insertion site. The lump may be the collagen plug or stitch that you feel, or a small bruise. These common side effects should disappear within a few weeks.
When to call your healthcare provider
Contact your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:
Pain, swelling, redness, bleeding, or drainage at the insertion site
Severe pain, coldness, or a bluish color in the leg or arm that held the catheter
Fever over 100.4°F (38°C)