An angiogram, also called angiography, is a diagnostic test that allows a heart doctor to look at your blood vessels for signs of abnormal blood flow and other problems.
If you or a loved one has a heart problem or cardiac or vascular condition, skilled cardiologists at Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento offer a wide array of advanced cardiovascular testing for diagnosis and treatment, including angiograms, in Sacramento and the surrounding areas. Find a Dignity Health cardiologist today at one of our state-of-art facilities to learn more our personalized cardiovascular care.
Why an Angiogram is Performed
Your doctor may recommend angiography to diagnose or treat these cardiology conditions:
- Aneurysms (enlarged or bulging blood vessels)
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Aortic disease (aortic stenosis or an aortic aneurysm)
- Blood clots
- Coronary artery disease (or heart disease)
- Blood vessel malformations
- Carotid artery disease(narrowing of the neck arteries)
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Mesenteric artery ischemia (decreased blood flow through the arteries that supply your intestines)
- Renal artery stenosis (narrowing of the arteries that supply your kidneys)
- Stroke and TIAs (transient ischemic attacks)
Types of Angiogram
There are two basic types of angiogram:
- Catheter angiography (a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in your groin or elbow)
- Noninvasive angiography (uses ultrasound, CT, or MRI to produce the imaging)
Depending on your condition and needs, you may see a technologist for an ultrasound, CT, or MRI. If you need a catheter angiography, you may see a cardiologist or interventional cardiologist.
How to Prepare for an Angiogram at Dignity Health
Your experienced cardiologist will give you instructions about things you need to do before your cardiology procedure. In general, you can prepare for angiography by:
- Checking with your insurance company about your coverage
- Making arrangements for help during your recovery from catheter angiography, although recovery time is typically less than a day
- Not eating for about eight hours before your procedure if you are having sedation
- Stopping aspirin or other blood thinners as directed by your doctor before catheter angiography
If you have a noninvasive angiography, you’ll be able to go home the same of your cardiology procedure and resume normal activities. After a catheter angiography, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for about six hours after the procedure to help control bleeding from the incision site.
Once you’re home, you should rest for a day or two. You may have some mild tenderness and bruising at the site where the catheter was put in.
If you’d like to learn more about our heart health and diagnostic testing, read our Cardiovascular Monitor newsletter and ask us about our other tools for heart health. Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento performs angiograms in Sacramento, CA and the surrounding areas.