Invasive and interventional cardiology uses minimally-invasive testing and procedures to diagnose and treat heart conditions. At Cardiovascular Medicine, PLLC, we are leaders in providing invasive cardiology treatments that relieve your symptoms and lower your risk of complications from heart disease. Our board certified physicians have undergone extensive specialized training to ensure you receive state-of-the-art care.
When to See an Interventional Cardiologist
Having a heart condition can prevent you from living life to its fullest. Interventional cardiologists can help you experience relief from your symptoms as well as reduce your risk of developing a more serious form of heart disease. Invasive cardiology procedures can help manage various heart conditions, including:
To understand what’s causing your symptoms, it is necessary to perform diagnostic testing. We offer several types of diagnostic procedures that allow us to see how well your heart and vessels are functioning. This provides us with a clearer picture so we can recommend the appropriate treatment plan. Our comprehensive diagnostic procedures include:
The goal of treatment for cardiovascular conditions is to provide you with both relief from symptoms and the peace of mind that comes with prioritizing your health. We are proud to offer the most advanced treatment options in the area. With the right interventional cardiology treatments, we can help you better manage your condition and significantly improve your day-to-day living. Our treatments include:
Angiography of the Heart
What is Angiography?
Angiography is an invasive cardiology procedure that is useful in diagnosing blockages and problems with blood flow. This medical imaging technique allows us to see the inside of arteries and the blood flow going to the heart, enabling us to identify restrictions to blood flow and diagnose heart conditions.
Coronary angiography uses cardiac catheterization, a technique that our interventional cardiologists have been specially trained to perform. During the procedure, a contrast dye is injected into arteries to make any potential issues highly visible with X-ray imaging. We may recommend angiography of the heart if previous non-invasive heart tests show abnormal results. These tests may include electrocardiography, an echocardiogram, or a cardiac stress test. We may also recommend a coronary angiography if you have symptoms of a heart condition. These symptoms may include:
- New or worsening chest pain
- Pain that radiates to your jaw, neck, or arm
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness or light-headedness
What to Expect
We will ask you to fast in the hours leading up to your angiography, either for several hours before the test or overnight. We may also ask you to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners. Cardiac angiography is an invasive cardiology procedure. As such, we will perform this test in the hospital. The test will take about one hour. During the procedure:
- We will administer an IV and may use sedation to help you relax.
- Next, we will place electrodes on your chest to monitor your heart. We will also monitor your vitals.
- A catheter will be placed in a large artery near your groin or your arm via a tiny incision.
- Finally, we will inject contrast dye through the catheter and take X-rays of the arteries. You may notice brief flushing or warmth.
After the Procedure
You will remain in the recovery room for several hours following the angiography while our experienced nursing staff monitor your vitals. They’ll also make sure the injection site looks okay. You will need to lay flat — ensuring the arm or leg used for insertion remains still. Drink plenty of water to help flush the contrast dye from your body.
You may be able to go home later that day, or you may need to stay overnight. When you’re ready to go home, you will need to have someone drive you. You should be able to resume moderate activity 24-48 hours after the test. Avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for a week.
Risks & Side Effects
There is a small amount of risk with X-ray procedures due to radiation. Though the exposure is minimal, your risk depends on how many X-rays you’ve had in the past. X-ray procedures are not recommended for those who are pregnant.
Am I a Candidate?
If you have had other cardiac diagnostic tests with abnormal results, or if you have risk factors or symptoms of heart disease, you may qualify for an angiography of the heart. Factors that put you at higher risk for developing heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Age (over 45 for men and 55 for women)
- Inactive lifestyle
- Family history of early heart disease
More on Angiography
Possible Side Effects and Complications
Though complications from angiography are rare, they can include:
- Nerve injury
- Blood clot
- Swelling caused by a collection of blood (hematoma)
- Damage to an artery or an artery wall
- Kidney failure from the contrast dye
- Allergic reaction to the contrast dye