Medical Video: New Route to the Heart - Mayo Clinic
Have you ever heard of coronary angiography? For you or your family who have experienced it, maybe the procedure is not so foreign. But for those of you who have not had a heart attack for the first time, maybe the procedure still sounds strange. So, what is coronary angiography?
What happens during a heart attack
Before discussing about coronary angiography, it's good to discuss a little about heart attack. When you experience a heart attack, at that time there is a blood vessel in your heart that has a blockage. The blockage is usually a blood clot that comes from a larger blood vessel and is carried by the bloodstream to a smaller blood vessel. These blockages cause blood flow to decrease or stop so that the supply of oxygen and nutrients is insufficient for the heart muscle to carry out metabolism. Sooner or later, the heart muscle will be damaged and eventually die.
Procedure and procedure for coronary angiography
The coronary angiography procedure is a method that uses X-rays and contrast dyes (usually iodine) to see the picture of the arteries and detect the location of blockages in the heart arteries. This procedure is important to do because for follow-up such as the installation of a ring in a blood vessel, it is necessary to ascertain the location of the blockage.
A cardiologist will carry out the following procedure.
- You will be given sedatives to make you more relaxed, but you will still be awakened because as long as the procedure is carried out you must carry out certain instructions from the doctor such as holding your breath or coughing.
- You are taken to the action room and are welcome to lie on the operating table.
- The doctor will give medication to make the arm and groin area, as a location for holes in the skin, to become numb or numb. The location will be where the catheter hose is inserted into the arteries.
- The doctor will insert a catheter tube into your arteries while X-rays are taken to determine the location of the catheter hose.
- When the catheter hose is in the desired location, the doctor will insert a special dye so that the blood vessel can be seen on the X-ray image.
- By looking at the X-ray images, the doctor will determine the location of the blockage.
- If a blockage occurs, the doctor can continue the procedure to open the blood vessels, for example by developing a catheter balloon or installing a ring of blood vessels.
What you feel during an angiography procedure
During the procedure, you will still be awake. Even if you are anesthetized on your arm or groin, you can still feel a warm sensation from head to toe when a special dye is inserted into the catheter hose. So, don't be surprised if you feel that way.
In addition, you may still feel a little pressure when the catheter is inserted and discomfort in the chest when a special dye is inserted. You also may still feel nauseous.
What happens after angiography
After the examination is complete, the catheter will be removed slowly and the procedure will be cleaned and closed. At the location of insertion of the catheter, you will feel uncomfortable due to pain. You will be asked to lie down for several hours, unless the procedure is performed on an artery in the arm. You will be placed in the treatment room and the doctor will explain the results of the examination.
Risk of complications that may occur due to angiography
Although it looks frightening, coronary angiography is a procedure that is commonly done and rarely causes serious problems. Possible complications such as allergic reactions to special coloring fluids, bleeding, infection, damage to blood vessels, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, the formation of blood clots that can trigger blockages, to the buildup of fluid in the heart.
Who needs coronary angiography examination?
In some cases other than a heart attack, your doctor may consider doing coronary angiography to you. Among others are:
- First chest pain
- Increasingly severe chest pain, appears at rest and does not improve with rest (referred to as unstable angina)
- Chest pain is not typical, while other examinations are within normal limits
- You have an abnormal heart load test result
- You have heart failure
- You have to undergo heart surgery and have a high risk of coronary heart disease (CHD)
Coronary angiography examination is a procedure on the heart that is commonly done by a cardiologist. This examination is very useful and practical because it can be immediately followed by medical actions to restore blood flow so that damage to the heart muscle can be minimized, especially in cases where total blood vessel blockage occurs. So, don't be afraid to do coronary angiography because this will save your life.