Angio, which is used in the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases, is a life-saving examination method in sudden heart attacks. Treatment planning is made according to the result of the angiography procedure, which shows the problem in the vessels going to the heart.
What is Angio?
Coronary angiography is the visualization of coronary vessels (the vessels that supply and supply blood to the heart) by administering a dyed liquid. In its simple definition, angiography means filming of coronary vessels. “To be an angio” among the people means that the angiography procedure has been applied to the person. It was much more difficult in the old days. The arteries had to be cut. Today, only needles are used.
Coronary angiography is a procedure that can be called minimally invasive, deteriorates the patient’s condition much less, and cannot be called surgery. It is a life-saving procedure when necessary. Coronary angiography can be life-saving if there are issues such as heart attack, spasm, cholesterol. Angio is a procedure with many benefits. With angiography, it is determined whether there is stenosis or complete occlusion in the heart vessels. Coronary angiography is performed in the catheter laboratory. In this section, precautions have been taken so that both the patient and the employees are not harmed.
In Which Diseases is Angiography Used?
Angio is a diagnostic method.
In which cases angiography will be performed can be listed as follows:
- Severe chest pain in the patient
- If the patient has a heart attack condition
- If signs of coronary stenosis are present
- As a result of positive effort test result
- Irregular heart contractions during echo
- Suspicion of coronary artery disease in different examinations
- In case of suspicious situations in computerized angiography
- With heart valve disease
- If you have diabetes other than heart surgery and have a major surgery
- In order to check the bypass ones
- If a major surgery is to be performed over the age of 40
- In order to control those who have a stent or balloon treatment.
How is Angiography Done?
It is usually carried out through the artery located in the right inguinal region of the patient. If this vein is not used (for example, this vein may be completely occluded), the left inguinal artery, right-left wrist arteries, elbow or armpit arteries can also be used. In coronary angiography, thin tubes (catheters) made of special materials that are selected according to the characteristics of the vessel to be imaged, do not cause vessel damage when used appropriately, and do not form clots are used.
Coronary angiography procedure takes about 10-20 minutes, this time may be a little longer due to the different anatomical structures of the vessels or their very tortuous nature (especially the abdominal and inguinal vessels).
In patients with by-pass, this period may take 20-30 minutes. Before the procedure, the area to be operated is anesthetized with local anesthesia. It is ensured that the patient does not feel pain.
Coronary angiography is mostly a painless and trouble-free procedure. After the procedure is over, the cannula placed on the intervention site is withdrawn, and pressure is applied for 15-20 minutes to stop the bleeding. After the bleeding stops, the patient is rested by applying a tight bandage and weight for about 4-6 hours. At the end of the 6th hour, the patient is stood up and discharged. You can take a bath the next day. If there is no swelling, uncomfortable pain or extensive bruising at the site of the intervention, it is possible to return to normal life.
Is There A Risk Of Death In Angiography?
Very rarely, a tear (dissection) may occur in the main artery (aorta) used as a route during coronary angiography and at the location of the coronary vessel. While the rupture in the aorta is usually innocent, the rupture in the coronary mouth can result in a heart attack and death.
This risk is especially higher in people with serious coronary problems and especially in those with stenosis in the main vessel. The probability of such fatal problems during angiography is roughly 1 in 1000 patients. Angio risk is a very low procedure.
What Are The Angio Damages?
There is no harm in the angiography procedure to be performed by a specialist cardiologist. In our country, angiography can be performed safely in every hospital.
What Should Be Done Before Angiography?
- When some patients apply to the hospital with a heart attack, there may not be a chance to prepare for angiography. However, some preliminary preparations are required in planned angiography cases.
- Blood count tests are important. If the patient’s platelets are low, excessive bleeding may occur during the procedure.
- Blood coagulation parameters must be checked beforehand. Afterwards, angiography should be performed.
- Patients’ kidney functions should work properly. Since the patient is injected with a dyed contrast agent, this substance may worsen the condition of people with kidney failure.
- It is preferred that the patient be fasting for 8-10 hours before the angiography. Some diabetes medications – the active ingredient of which is metformin – need to be discontinued beforehand. Otherwise, kidney failure and acidosis may occur.
- It may be necessary to take a break from some blood thinners. However, there is no need to take a break from aspirin, which is widely used in society, before this procedure.
In Which Cases is An Angiography Performed On The Arm?
It can be done in cases where the risk of bleeding is low and the patient is sent home after some observation. However, if it is not performed by experienced experts, the processing time will be prolonged and the process may be insufficient.
If there is inability to reach the heart from the groin, if there is stenosis or obstruction in the aorta and its branches leading to the groin, if there are patients with a high risk of bleeding in the groin, angiography is performed on the arm or wrist.
What Should Be Considered After Angiography?
- Consuming plenty of water,
- Not to use cigarettes or alcohol,
- Consuming liquid drinks,
- Not taking a shower for the first 24 hours