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What is Angiography? How is it Done?
What is angiography?

What Is Angiography?

Angiography (angiogram) is an imaging technique used to observe the internal structure of blood vessels and identify potential blockages, weaknesses, or clots. Angiography is performed to examine the vascular system in detail, diagnose potential problems, and if necessary, provide treatment. The procedure is named according to the specific blood vessels being visualized: carotid angiography for neck vessels, coronary angiography for heart vessels, and peripheral angiography for leg vessels. Coronary angiography is the most commonly performed angiography procedure.

During angiography, a contrast agent is injected into the blood vessels to visualize their internal structure. This allows the evaluation of the vascular structure, identifying blockages, dilations, or other abnormal conditions.

Angiography can be used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, as it allows for interventions such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement during the procedure.

How Is The Process Made For An Angiography Procedure?

The decision to perform angiography is typically based on the patient's symptoms and medical history. Emergency angiography is necessary for patients exhibiting symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain, cold sweats, palpitations, and shortness of breath. Performing angiography in the early hours after diagnosing a heart attack enhances treatment success.

If the patient does not have significant symptoms but diagnostic tests like stress tests or scintigraphy indicate a problem, angiography may be considered.

Additionally, in some cases, such as heart valve diseases or patients undergoing surgery, coronary angiography and catheter procedures can be performed simultaneously to assess the condition of all blood vessels in the body.

How Is Angiography Performed?

A special catheter is guided through the wrist or groin artery to the entrance of the heart vessels. A contrast dye is injected through it, and X-ray imaging is used to capture images of the vessels' condition.

Angiography is typically performed under local anesthesia, and in most cases, patients do not feel significant discomfort or pain. The recovery process is generally quick, and patients can often be discharged within a few hours. After the procedure, patients can return to their normal activities.

How Is Intelligent Angiography (Radial Angiography) Performed?

Wrist angiography, also known as radial angiography, is conducted through the patient's wrist to visualize and potentially intervene in the blood vessels. Before performing this procedure, an "Allen" test is usually conducted to assess the adequacy of blood circulation in the hand.

Preparation for wrist angiography may involve fasting for at least 3-4 hours, and if applicable, taking cardiac medications. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. A thin needle is used to access the wrist artery, and it is then placed inside a special sheath. Through this sheath, catheters are advanced to visualize the right and left coronary arteries inside the heart. Contrast dye is injected through the catheters to enhance visibility. Sometimes, the entire procedure can be completed with a single catheter.

Once the procedure is complete, the sheath is removed, and if necessary, diagnoses related to heart valves can be made. Patients are typically monitored for about 2 hours and can be discharged if there are no additional issues.

How Long Does Ist Angiography Take?

Wrist angiography usually takes between 20 to 30 minutes. However, the duration may vary depending on the complexity of the patient's vascular structure and additional procedures, such as angioplasty or stent placement. In special cases, the procedure time may be slightly longer.

How Is Groin Angiography (Femoral Angiography) Performed?

Groin angiography, also known as femoral angiography, is a procedure performed through the groin area to examine and potentially treat the blood vessels leading to the heart. During this procedure, a catheter is inserted into the vessels of the groin to reach the heart vessels. Contrast dye is injected to capture images of the heart vessels, allowing the evaluation of possible blockages, constrictions, or other issues.

The process of groin angiography is similar to wrist angiography but involves the use of three catheters instead of one.

How Long Does Groin Angiography Take?

Groin angiography typically takes between 15 to 30 minutes. However, the duration may vary depending on the patient's vascular structure and the planned procedures.

What Are The Differences Between Freedom And Groin Angiography?

Both methods are fundamentally the same, involving the insertion of a catheter to inject contrast dye and capture images of blood vessels. However, there are some differences:

• Groin angiography is generally completed in a shorter time compared to wrist angiography, but the recovery time is longer. After wrist angiography, patients are usually observed for a short period and can be discharged quickly, often within 2 hours.

• During wrist angiography, patients may be in a more comfortable position. Groin angiography might be less comfortable for some patients.

• Groin angiography has a higher risk of complications compared to wrist angiography.

How Is Balloon-Stent Procedure Performed?

The balloon-stent procedure is used to treat narrowed or blocked arteries. During this procedure, a catheter with a balloon at its tip is inflated to widen the narrowed area, and sometimes, a stent is placed to keep the vessel open. The stent is positioned on the inner surface of the vessel to regulate blood flow and prevent the recurrence of blockages.

After Angiography, What Should Be Observed?

• After the procedure, it is important to drink plenty of water to reduce the impact of the contrast agent on the kidneys.

• In groin angiography, the sandbag placed in the area should not be removed for approximately 6 hours after the procedure to prevent bleeding.

• Avoiding movement of the treated area is crucial to prevent bleeding, so patients should try to minimize activity after the procedure.

• In rare cases, patients may experience pain, swelling, or bruising in the treated area after angiography. If such symptoms occur, seeking medical attention promptly is important.

• Patients can generally return to their normal daily activities after angiography, but heavy lifting is discouraged.

Post-Angiography Nutrition

• After angiography, a light, easily digestible, and balanced diet is essential. Avoiding heavy, fatty, and hard-to-digest foods is recommended.

• Drinking plenty of water is crucial to hydrate the body and support kidney function. Adequate water intake is especially important after the procedure.

• Controlling salt intake helps regulate blood pressure. Processed foods should be avoided, and meals should be prepared with little or no salt.

• Foods rich in fiber, such as vegetables and fruits, are important for digestive health and support vitamin and mineral intake.

• Choosing healthy fat sources, such as olive oil, over saturated fats and processed oils, is recommended.

• Consuming protein sources like chicken, eggs, and fish is advised. Red meat and processed meats should be consumed in moderation.

• Excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol can have negative effects on heart health. Therefore, limited intake is recommended, and alcohol should ideally be avoided.

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