Angiograms are useful in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the blood vessels, and may be recommended by a cardiologist if they suspect you to have conditions such as atherosclerosis (in which the arteries are narrower than usual, leading to risk of heart attack or stroke), peripheral arterial disease (where blood supply to the legs is reduced), brain aneurysm, angina (chest pain), blood clots, pulmonary embolism (where the artery to the lungs is blocked), or any blockages in blood supply to major organs. You will be able to have the angiogram without general anaesthetic, although you may be mildly sedated. A local anaesthetic will be used near your groin or wrist, depending on the artery that is going to be used for the scan. A small cut is made near the artery, to allow the insertion of a small, thin, flexible tube, which allows the contrast dye to enter the bloodstream. The x-ray images are taken once the dye begins to appear in the vessels. An angiogram usually takes anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours to complete. It is recommended that you rest at home following the procedure, and may notice a little bruising or soreness for a few days afterwards. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your heart health, organise a check-up, or discuss any symptoms, please give us a call to meet with one of our specialist cardiologists.
A loop recorder is a small heart-monitoring device which is fitted under the skin, beneath the collarbone, through a minor surgical procedure.
The procedure is fairly simple, and can be performed in the clinic by a specialist cardiologist. Local anaesthetic is used to reduce discomfort, and the process takes no more than half an hour.
You will need to take care of yourself following a loop recorder fitting, to help the site heal as best as possible, with gentle cleaning and extra care. Once it has healed, you should have it checked at least every three months.