A coronary angiogram is a procedure that uses fluoroscopy to see your coronary arteries. This diagnostic test is generally done to see if there’s a restriction in blood flow going to the heart. In a coronary angiogram, a long, thin tube called catheter is inserted through the wrist or groin to visualize the arteries of the heart. A dye is injected through the catheter to have a better picture of the arteries via fluoroscopy guidance where the arteries are viewed on different angles.

Patient Preparation

In some cases, coronary angiograms are performed on an emergency basis. More commonly, though, they are scheduled in advance.

For scheduled cases, the patient will be admitted at the hospital the night before or few hours before the procedure and the patient can be discharged the same day if there are no significant findings or complications after the coronary angiogram.

An informed consent will be secured from the patient.

The doctor will instruct the patient not to eat or drink (NPO- nothing per orem) anything for 4 to hours before the procedure.

Diagnostic tests such as ECG and 2D echo and laboratory exams such Creatinine and Cardiac panel are usually requested prior to the procedure. Maintenance medications will also be checked and history of allergies on food especially on seafood and medicines will be noted.

The patient’s groin will be shaved prior to the procedure as another possible access in the event that radial approach is not feasible or unsuccessful.

An intravenous line on left arm, preferably, will be initiated once admitted or once patient is put on NPO (nothing per orem) especially for diabetic patients.

Certain medication for diabetes such as Metformin will be put on hold 1-2 days prior to procedure.

Medications for mild sedation are usually given at least 30 minutes prior to procedure.

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