Coronary Angiography


Preparation for an angiogram (and/or angioplasty/stenting)

  • You might be asked not to eat or drink for four to six hours before having coronary angioplasty
  • If you are diabetic or have some kidney problems, then your cardiologist may give you instructions to withhold some medications on the day of your procedure, and sometimes even the day after
  • Your cardiologist may give you a script for some special blood thinners to take the night before the procedure. This is usually in anticipation for angioplasty/stenting
  • You will be shaved in the area of your body where the catheter will be inserted. Catheters are usually put into your groin or wrist. You will also be asked to remove any jewellery that you are wearing
  • You will be taken to the cardiac catheterisation laboratory (cath lab) to lie flat (on your back) on an examination table, where your heart beat and blood pressure will be monitored
  • A small needle might be inserted into a vein in the back of one of your hands so that you can be given medicines during the procedure
  • Your doctor might give you a sedative to help you to relax, otherwise it is expected you will be awake during the procedure
  • Your doctor will inject a local anaesthetic into the area of your body where the catheter will be inserted. This will cause you some mild initial discomfort ('stinging'), however very soon the area will become numb. The cardiologist will then proceed to insert the tubes and catheters into the arteries 

  • Professor Sanders says...

    Atrial fibrillation is a consequence of several reversible risk factors - high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, sleep apnoea, and excessive alcohol. Your management of atrial fibrillation must include strict control of these risk factors.