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Coronary Angiogram

Cardiovascular angiography is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure that uses X-ray imaging to see your heart's blood vessels. It is part of group of cardiology medical procedures known as cardiovascular catheterization.

Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento provides exceptional diagnostics for our heart and vascular patients. Our cardiologists and physicians use the latest technology to ensure an accurate diagnosis so we can provide you with the best course of treatment available.

What To Expect During Coronary Angiogram

You may need to stay in the hospital the night before the test. The procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. Here's what to expect:

  • Before the test starts, your doctor will give you a mild sedative to help you relax.
  • Your heart doctor will clean an area of your body, usually the arm or groin, and numb it with a local anesthetic.
  • Your doctor will pass a catheter (a thin hollow tube) through an artery, carefully move it up into the heart and position it with the help of X-ray imaging.
  • Once the catheter is in place, your doctor will inject contrast material (a special liquid that improves the image) into the catheter.
  • X-ray images show how the contrast material moves through the artery. The contrast material helps highlight blockages in blood flow.

Preparing For Coronary Angiogram

Always follow any special instructions your cardiologist or doctor gives you prior to the test. You should not eat or drink anything for 8 hours before the test starts. Also, tell your doctor if:

  • You have had a bad reaction to contrast material in the past
  • You are taking Viagra
  • You might be pregnant