Even with the latest medical technology, it’s not possible to take a clear look into the health condition of blood vessels from outside. Also called arteriography, angiography is the procedure that lets physicians check vessel related problems from inside and easily.
How is Angiography Performed?
In this simple but powerful procedure, the doctor will use a catheter to enter the body through an artery. Starting point can be groin, upper thigh or arm. Then a contrast agent (an iodinated dye) will be injected into the catheter. Contrast dye will highlight the inside of the vessels and help X-ray machines, CT scanners or MRI scanners clearly monitor how vessels perform. Findings will be interpreted by your specialists.
Which Parts Of Body Can Be Scanned By Angiography?
When you hear the word angiogram in daily life, the case will probably be a heart disease (atherosclerosis, embolisms, aneurysms, and etc.) but this procedure is used in almost any part of the body including:
– Brain (especially for actual or possible strokes)
– Chest and lungs
– Reproductive system
What The Physician Will Look For?
As we mentioned above, angiography is basically performed to see the functioning quality of blood vessels. Your doctor will try to diagnose or search several problems including:
– Atherosclerosis, which is critical narrowing of the arteries that increase stroke and heart attack risks.
– Brain aneurysm, which means a part of brain vessel lost its rigidity and is ballooning.
– Peripheral arterial diseases, low blood supply to legs due to abnormalities on vessels.
– Blood clots, which means blood is thickened and blocking arteries.
– Pulmonary embolism, which means the lungs are not being supplied with enough blood due to blockage in the vessels.
Is Angiography Painful?
The procedure is usually not painful but you may have several discomforts like an annoying feeling during catheter insertion or pressure around chest area when contrast agent is injected. Some doctors may apply local anesthesia to the insertion area and even use pain killer medication as well. If you have any doubts due to a personal sensitivity or an allergy, make sure you have shared all these with your physician prior to the procedure.
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