Also known as an angiogram, this performs an x-ray of the arteries and veins. The procedure is used to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems. During an Angiogram, the interventional cardiologist inserts a thin tube, known as a catheter, into the artery through a small nick in the skin about the size of a pencil tip. Next, a contrast agent, X-ray dye is injected to make the blood vessels visible on the X-ray. A hospital performs the procedure in the interventional radiology suite.

Why Angiography is Performed?

The common reason for this procedure is to determine any blockages or narrowing in a blood vessel that may be interfering with normal blood flow throughout the body. Angiograms may also detect aneurysms (an area of a blood vessel that bulges or balloons out), cerebral vascular disease, and blood vessel malformations.

Ways to Handle Issues.

For Blockages:

In many cases, the interventional cardiologist can treat a blocked blood vessel without surgery at the time an Angiogram is performed. Angioplasty can also treat some venous blockages. This procedure is when a catheter is threaded to the site or the blocked artery using X-ray guidance. Next, the balloon is inflated to open the artery. Sometimes a stent, a small metal scaffold, is inserted to keep the blood vessel.

For Blood Clots:

When there is a block within the artery caused by a blood clot, treatment may be Thrombolysis. Thrombolytic drugs dissolve clots by being injected through a catheter to eliminate the clot and restore blood flow.