Is angiography (CAG) a painful process?
An angiogram is a diagnostic procedure that uses X-ray images to examine your Heart blood vessels for blockages (arteries or veins). An angiogram test allows your doctor to see how blood circulates in blood vessels in specific areas of your body. Angiograms of your heart, neck, kidneys, legs, or other areas are used by providers to pinpoint the source of an artery or vein problem.
Why is an angiogram performed?
When you have signs of blocked, damaged, or abnormal blood vessels, your healthcare provider may recommend an angiogram procedure. An angiogram test assists your provider in determining the source of the problem and the extent of blood vessel damage.
Your provider can use an angiogram test to diagnose and/or plan treatment for conditions such as:
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Disease of the peripheral arteries.
- Clots of blood form.
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Is it uncomfortable?
An angiogram is usually not painful. To numb the area, a doctor may use local anesthesia. Some people may require sedation to remain calm. Pain relievers are usually effective in relieving discomfort.
When the doctor inserts the catheter, some people feel a slight pressure. They may occasionally experience discomfort in the chest as the contrast dye enters the area. Nausea and the need to urinate are also possible.
What can I expect on the day of my angiogram?
You must do the following on the day of your angiogram:
- Jewelry and other valuables should be left at home.
- Make arrangements for a responsible adult to drive you home.
- Bring a list of your current medications and allergies.
- Bring a book or a magazine in case your healthcare provider is called to an emergency before yours.
- Inform all of your healthcare providers that you have diabetes.
- Put on a hospital gown and lie down on an X-ray table.
- Meet with your provider to go over your instructions, questions, and medical history.
What happens during an angiogram examination?
Your provider will do the following during an angiogram
- Numb the area where the catheter will be inserted.
- A needle is used to enter your blood vessel.
- Thread the needle with a wire.
- Insert a long, slender tube known as a catheter through the needle and into a large artery (usually in your groin area).
- Thread the catheter slowly and carefully through your artery until the tip of the catheter reaches the part of the blood vessel they want to examine.
- Inject a small amount of contrast material (dye) into your blood vessel segment via the catheter.
- This can cause flushing or the need to pee for a few seconds.
- Obtain X-rays.
- On the X-ray monitor, watch where the contrast agent goes to see where and how well blood is moving in your blood vessels.
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An angiogram is it painful?
An angiogram is not a painful procedure. When your provider injects an anesthetic to numb the area where they will insert a catheter, you will feel a needle go into your skin. After that, you should have no more pain during the procedure.