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What is an Angiography?

An angiography is an imaging test to take a look at a patients’ blood vessels. It is used to find out if there are any blocked arteries.

What causes a blockage in an artery?

Arteries carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. Over time, they accumulate plaque which is made of fat deposits, calcium, cholesterol and other wastes.

Having high blood pressure, eating foods high in cholesterol, diabetes and smoking increase the chances of accumulation of plaque in the arteries.

Symptoms / when to call your doctor

As plaque slowly builds up in an artery, there are no signs of it. But, when the artery gets blocked, people experience:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Heart attack

Why you should see a doctor?

You should see a doctor immediately if you feel you are having a heart attack in which you experience chest pain which radiates to the arm and back.

How is it diagnosed?

The doctor can diagnose clogged arteries using an angiography or other tests like:

  • Echocardiogram

  • Chest X ray

  • CT scan

  • MRI

  • Cholesterol screening

Dietary Restrictions

After an angiogram, you should have a diet consisting of:

  • 2-3 litres of water and fluids

  • Simple, nutritious, bland food

  • Healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocado

  • Whole grains, meat, fish

  • Avoid sugary foods and limit your salt intake

Angiography

This procedure is used to find blocked arteries in a patient’s heart.

Flow of the procedure:

  • The patient is made to lie on the back

  • A sedative is given to the patient to make him/her relax

  • A BP monitor is attached to keep track of the heart rate throughout the procedure

  • A catheter is inserted in the groin or arm area

  • Dye is injected through the catheter and as it moves through the body, the doctor can see the veins and arteries clearly and detects any blocked arteries

Recovery Time and Dietary Advice:

  • 1-day discharge with mild pain

  • Resume normal routine from next day

  • Drink plenty of water to remove the dye from your system

Risks involved in the treatment:

There are very less complications through this treatment. Some of the risks may be:

  • Soreness

  • Bruising

  • Bleeding at the cut where the catheter was inserted

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