What is it?
Invasive coronary angiography is a diagnostic test that uses a catheter and X-ray imaging to evaluate the blood flow through the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart. During the test, a catheter is inserted through a small puncture in the skin and guided through the blood vessels to the heart. A special dye is injected through the catheter to help highlight the blood vessels, and X-ray images are taken to evaluate the blood flow.
Invasive coronary angiography is considered the gold standard for diagnosing and evaluating coronary artery disease and other heart conditions that affect the blood vessels in the heart.
Who is it for?
Invasive coronary angiography may be recommended for patients who have symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations. It may also be recommended for patients with known heart disease who need to be evaluated for the effectiveness of their treatment or the progression of their condition.
Before undergoing invasive coronary angiography, patients will typically undergo several tests, such as a physical exam, electrocardiogram (ECG), stress test, CT coronary angiogram (CTCA) and/or blood tests, to ensure that they are healthy enough to undergo the procedure.
What to expect on the day?
On the day of the invasive coronary angiography procedure, you will go to the cardiac day catheterisation laboratory of the hospital where the procedure will be performed. Before the procedure, patients will receive instructions on how to prepare for the procedure, which may include fasting for several hours prior to the procedure and/or withholding medications.
During the procedure, the patient will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted. The catheter will then be inserted in the wrist or groin through a small puncture in the skin and guided through the blood vessels to the heart.
Once the catheter is in place, a contrast dye will be injected through the catheter to help highlight the blood vessels in the heart. X-ray images will be taken to evaluate the blood flow through the coronary arteries.
After the procedure
The catheter is removed from your wrist or groin, and pressure (manual or wrist band) is applied to stop bleeding. You will need to lie flat for several hours if the catheter was inserted in the groin. you will be monitored for complications, such as bleeding.
You may be able to go home on the same day. If you have a stent inserted, you are likely to remain in hospital overnight for monitoring.
You will not be able to drive following your procedure due to administration of sedative. Hence, it would be important for you to plan ahead and organise somebody to drive you home.
Overall, invasive coronary angiography is a generally safe and effective test that can diagnose and evaluate coronary artery disease.
If you have any queries regarding your upcoming procedure, please contact our reception staff who will liaise with your cardiologist.