A coronary angiogram is a medical procedure that involves inserting a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your arm (radial artery) or leg (femoral. artery) and threading it up to your heart.
Once the catheter is in place, a special dye is injected into your coronary arteries, which are the blood vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. The dye helps your doctor see the inside of your arteries and identify any blockages or narrowing that may be causing problems with blood flow.
During the procedure, you will lie on a table while the doctor inserts the catheter into your blood vessel. You may feel a slight sting when the catheter is inserted, but the procedure is generally not painful. You will be given a mild sedative to help you relax.
The procedure typically takes about an hour, but it may take longer if your doctor needs to perform any additional tests or open a blockage with a stent.
After the procedure, you will need to rest for a short time before going home. If the doctor has inserted a stent it is more usual to stay for one or two nights. You may have a bandage over the insertion site and be asked to keep it dry for a day or two.
Your doctor will review the results of the coronary angiogram with you and discuss any further treatment that may be necessary. This could include medications to help improve blood flow to your heart or procedures to open or remove blockages in your arteries.