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Coronary Angiography

Coronary Angiography

Coronary angiography, often referred to as cardiac catheterization, is a diagnostic medical procedure used to assess the health of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with oxygen and nutrients. It is a crucial tool in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) and provides essential information for guiding treatment decisions. Here’s an overview of coronary angiography:

Procedure Overview

  • Coronary angiography is typically performed in a specialized room known as a cardiac catheterization laboratory or cath lab.
  • The patient is usually awake but receives sedation to help relax and minimize discomfort during the procedure.
  • A catheter (a thin, flexible tube) is inserted into an artery, most commonly in the groin or wrist. This catheter is carefully threaded through the arteries to reach the coronary arteries.
  • A contrast dye is injected through the catheter directly into the coronary arteries. This dye is visible on X-ray imaging and allows the healthcare team to visualize any blockages, narrowing, or abnormalities in the blood vessels that supply the heart.


  • Coronary angiography is primarily used to diagnose coronary artery disease (CAD), which is characterized by the buildup of plaque (atherosclerosis) in the coronary arteries. This narrowing or blockage of the arteries can lead to reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, resulting in chest pain (angina), heart attacks, or other heart-related problems.
  • The procedure provides crucial information about the location, severity, and extent of blockages in the coronary arteries.

Results and Treatment Planning

  • Once the coronary angiography is complete, the images are reviewed by a cardiologist.
  • Based on the findings, treatment options are discussed. If significant blockages are identified, further interventions such as angioplasty with stent placement or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) may be recommended.

Risks and Considerations

  • Coronary angiography is generally considered safe, but like any medical procedure, it carries some risks, such as bleeding, infection, or allergic reactions to the contrast dye.
  • These risks are typically low, and the benefits of accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment outweigh the potential complications.

Coronary angiography is an invaluable tool for diagnosing and guiding treatment for coronary artery disease. It provides vital information that helps healthcare providers make informed decisions about managing heart-related conditions and ensuring the best possible outcomes for their patients.

What Is Cardiology?

Cardiology is the branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and conditions related to the heart and cardiovascular system. Cardiologists are medical doctors who specialize in this field.

What Are The Common Heart Conditions Treated by Cardiologists?

Cardiologists diagnose and treat a wide range of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms), valvular heart disease, congenital heart defects, and cardiomyopathies. They also manage risk factors such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, and diabetes that can contribute to heart disease.

What Is Open Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

Open heart valve replacement surgery is a surgical procedure performed to replace a damaged or diseased heart valve with a prosthetic valve. It involves making an incision in the chest, opening the chest cavity, and temporarily stopping the heart to access and replace the malfunctioning valve.

Can I Lead a Normal Life After Open Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

In many cases, patients can lead a normal life after recovering from open heart valve replacement surgery. However, it’s important to follow the recommended lifestyle modifications, take prescribed medications, attend follow-up appointments, and adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress management, and avoiding tobacco use are important for maintaining heart health and maximizing the benefits of the surgery.

Will I Need Regular Follow-Up After Open Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

Yes, regular follow-up visits with your cardiologist or cardiac surgeon are important after open heart valve replacement surgery. These visits allow the healthcare team to monitor your progress, assess the functioning of the replacement valve, make any necessary adjustments to medications, and address any concerns or issues you may have. Follow-up appointments are crucial for long-term care and monitoring of your heart health.

What Is Coronary Angiography?

Coronary Angiography, also known as cardiac catheterization or coronary angiogram, is a diagnostic procedure that allows doctors to visualize the blood vessels of the heart. It involves the injection of a contrast dye into the coronary arteries and taking X-ray images to evaluate the presence of blockages or narrowing in the arteries.

How Long Does Coronary Angiography Take?

The duration of Coronary Angiography can vary, but the procedure usually takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour. However, it may take longer if additional interventions, such as angioplasty or stent placement, are performed during the same procedure.

Will I Be Awake During Coronary Angiography?

During Coronary Angiography, you will usually be given mild sedation to help you relax. While you may be awake and aware during the procedure, you may not remember all the details due to the sedative effects. The medical team will closely monitor your comfort and safety throughout the procedure.

What Should I Expect After Coronary Angiography?

After the procedure, you will be moved to a recovery area where your vital signs will be monitored. You may need to lie flat for a few hours to prevent bleeding from the catheter insertion site. Your medical team will provide specific instructions regarding activities, medications, and follow-up appointments. Most patients can resume normal activities within a day or two after the procedure.

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