The angiogram will be performed in the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory (the Cath Lab) which is very similar to an operating theatre but with a special x-ray machine. The staff in the Cath Lab are nurses and technologists. There may also be a doctor who will assist me with the procedure. If you have any questions or are concerned in any way please ask me or one of the staff.
The procedure will be done under local anaesthesia. It is a bit painful when the anaesthetic goes in but the pain should not last long. If it is really hurting, then let me know and we can fix that. You may be given some sedating medicine through the intravenous cannula. This will make you feel more relaxed. If you feel very anxious then tell us.
There will be one or two small cuts in the skin in the groin, about 3 millimetres long (less than 1/8th inch). Usually the right groin is used. Sheaths (tubes) will be placed in the artery and/or vein in the groin. An x-ray will be used to guide the catheters to the right place. The x-ray camera is mounted above you and will move around to take pictures from different angles. You may wish to watch the TV monitor screen.
A dye will be injected to show up the arteries on the x-ray. You may be asked to take a deep breath and stop breathing just when the x-ray films are being taken. You should breathe normally when you are asked or after a few seconds. You won’t be able to feel the dye going in except for one picture (usually the last one) when we show how strongly the heart is beating. This feels like a hot flush passing all over you.