M At The Doctor

Coronarography: how is it going?

Coronary angiography is performed by a cardiologist in a suitable radiology room

The coronarography room includes: a fluoroscopy device, a mobile table on which the patient is lying down, and a system for viewing and recording the examination.

No need for general anesthesia. Local anesthesia is sufficient. A tranquilizer may be administered if the patient is too anxious. Once installed on the examination table, an intravenous infusion will be placed on the wrist.

We will lie on our backs all the time of the X-ray. The heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored constantly. After local anesthesia, the cardiologist introduces the catheter into an artery, either at the wrist (which limits the risk of hematoma and allows walking immediately after the examination), or at the level of the groin (This is the "femoral" way). The cardiologist then makes this catheter, to the arteries of the heart. The practitioner follows the path of the catheter on a control screen.

The probe penetrates only very little into the coronary artery. Once the catheter is in place, the contrast medium is injected and the images are taken. All this lasts about an hour.

The catheter is then removed and the vessel is compressed to prevent bleeding. The artery is manually compressed and a compression bandage is placed. A 48-hour hospitalization is often recommended. It will also be advisable not to move your arm for 48 hours, or to lie down for a few hours after the examination (if the coronagraphy has been performed by the femoral route). But we can eat normally.

If the examination has detected an obstacle, an angioplasty can be performed (if the doctor considers this treatment more relevant than bypass). With angioplasty, the narrowed vessel is dilated with small balloons. This procedure is often supplemented by the placement of a metal prosthesis, a "stent" (or spring), which remains in the vessel and prevents the formation of a new narrowing.

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