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Cardiothoracic Services

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Coronary Angiography

A coronary angiogram, or cardiac catheterisation, shows us where and how severe any narrowed areas in your arteries are.

We can also measure pressures in your heart to find out how well the heart pump and valves are working.

We can then decide what treatments you need, such as an angioplasty or heart surgery.

Having a coronary angiogram

A coronary angiogram is done in a 'cath lab', which is like an operating theatre, and you can expect the test to last half an hour, although it can sometimes take longer.

Please do not eat or drink anything for four hours before your angiogram takes place (although you may take sips of water up until the procedure).

We ask you to lie on a table and place drapes to keep everything clean.

We can use your arm or groin to place a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) into your arteries and heart.

Using an X-ray, the catheter is directed through the blood vessels and into your heart.

A special dye is then passed through the catheter and a series of X-rays are taken.

The dye shows up any narrowed areas or blockages in the artery on the X-ray.

British Heart Foundation - Coronary angiogram