Coronary Angiogram Service

A Coronary Angiogram is an invasive test to find out if there are any narrowing or blockages in your coronary arteries. The consultant will inject dye into the coronary arteries and X-ray pictures will be taken of your heart (coronary) arteries. This is how your cardiologist will see if there are any narrowing or blockages. The procedure takes approximately 15 -30 minutes.

 

SEDATION

If you are having a Coronary Angiogram you may be given the option of having intravenous sedation. The sedation is given through a cannula (small plastic tube) placed in the vein. You will feel sleepy and relaxed following the sedation but you will not be unconscious (this is not a general anaesthetic).

If you have sedation

  • You must have someone to accompany you home and remain with you for 12 hours
  • You must not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours
  • You must not consume alcohol for 24 hours
  • You should not make any vital decisions or sign any legal documents for 24 hours
  • You should not take any medication not prescribed or acknowledged by your doctor

 

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

An angiogram is a relatively safe test and serious complications are rare. The risk depends on your overall health and your individual heart condition – your doctor will not recommend the test if they don’t feel the benefits outweigh the small risk.

 

Common risks and complications (more than 5%) inlcude:

  • Minor bruising at the puncture site.
  • Major bruising or swelling at the groin/arm puncture site.
  • Bleeding from access site.
  • Pain/discomfort at the access site

 

Rare risks and complications (less than 1% include):

  • Loss of pulse in the arm after a radial artery (arm) procedure
  • Abnormal heart rhythm that continues for a long time. This may need an electric shock to correct.
  • Surgical repair of the groin/arm puncture site or blood vessel.
  • Minor reaction to the x-ray radiation and sun burn type reactions (only in prolonged exposure)
  • Loss of kidney function due to the side effects of the x-ray dye.
  • A stroke. This can cause long term disability.
  • Heart attack.
  • An allergic reaction to the x-ray dye.
  • Need for emergency heart surgery or angioplasty (Stenting).
  • A higher lifetime risk of cancer from x-ray exposure.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is rare.
  • Infection at access site.
  • Major bleeding

 

SEEK URGENT MEDICAL ATTENTION OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING DEVELOP AFTER DISCHARGE:

  • Bleeding or swelling in your groin/wrist
  • Numbness, blueness, coldness or pain in the affected leg/wrist
  • Signs of infection, groin/wrist redness, pain, swelling, discharge, heat, raised  temperature
  • Prolonged or severe chest pain or angina symptoms

 

Available at the following locations:

  • Dublin

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