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Coronary Angiography & Angioplasty

Coronary angiography is a test to check the insides of the coronary arteries. This is done to check for plaque build up and blockages in the coronary arteries. Coronary angiography uses x-rays to see the inner portion of the arteries. Coronary arteries are a vital part of the heart as they supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Any blockage or obstruction may hinder the blood and oxygen supply to the heart. This will lead to serious heart conditions. The plaque is a waxy substance that accumulates in the coronary arteries. Coronary artery disease is a condition caused by the plaque build up. Chest pain or discomfort caused due to the plaque build up is called angina. Sometimes, the plaque build up may rupture and cause blood clots to form inside the artery. This may induce a heart attack.

Coronary Angiography is a diagnostic test to identify the chance for developing Coronary Artery Disease and Heart attack. The procedure is done using a contrast agent called, dye. The dye is injected into the bloodstream during catheterisation. It helps to make the coronary arteries visible on the x-ray images. With the help of these images, the doctor will be able to view the blockages clearly. The procedure is painless and is usually done at the hospital. The patient may feel a kind of soreness in the blood vessels.

Coronary Angioplasty is done to widen the narrowed blood vessels. Angioplasty is a method to remove the blockage in the coronary artery non-surgically. A tiny balloon is used for the procedure. It can open a narrowed blood vessel in the heart .Generally a stent is inserted at the site of blockage after balloon dilatation. Coronary angioplasty helps a patient by reducing the chest pain and chance of heart attack. The technique used for coronary angioplasty is almost same to the procedures of coronary angiography. The main difference is that coronary angioplasty needs a hospital stay.

Carotid Angiography & Angioplasty
Like the coronary arteries, the carotid arteries may also develop a plaque buildup or cholesterol deposits inside the arteries. This condition is called atherosclerosis. When the plaque buildup increases, the arteries are narrowed down and leads to dangerous conditions like a stroke.

Carotid Angiography is an x-ray imaging procedure to detect the existence of atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries. The procedure is also known as Carotid Angio or Anteriogram. The procedure is invasive and detects the future risks for stroke. The doctor suggests carotid angiography, when a patient is suspected to have carotid artery disease after having other diagnostic procedures such as CTA, MRA and carotid duplex ultrasound.

Carotid Angioplasty is the procedure to remove the blockage or narrowing of the carotid arteries. It is a non-surgical procedure which can be done immediately after the angiography. The doctor uses a balloon catheter to remove the blockage. During the procedure, the balloon catheter is inserted into the area of blockage. The plaque buildup or blockage is compressed when the balloon is inflated. This improves the blood flow in the carotid arteries.

The procedures may take around two hours to complete. It takes more time for the preparation and recovery. The doctor will discuss regarding the potential risks and complications of the procedure. It may vary according to various factors such as:

The severity of the condition.
Location of the blockage.
Other current medical conditions.
Previous history of stroke etc.,

However, the common risk factors may include:


Carotid angioplasty may not cure the carotid disease. It can improve the blockage and life of the patient. The patient may require some lifestyle changes to prevent future risks of carotid disease.

Peripheral Angiography & Angioplasty
When the plaque buildup hardens up the peripheral arteries, it results in atherosclerosis and finally becomes Peripheral Artery Disease/ Peripheral Vascular Disease. People with Peripheral Artery Disease are at an increased risk for conditions such as heart disease, stroke and aortic aneurysm. So, it is important to identify the blockage as early as possible to avoid further health risks. Peripheral Angiogram or peripheral angioplasty is a test to find the blockages or narrowing of blood vessels that supplies blood to the legs, knees, pelvis, ankles, and arms.

Peripheral Angiography : A Peripheral Angiography (Peripheral Angiogram) test can determine the presence of Peripheral Artery Disease. It is a kind of imaging test that makes use of x-rays. The procedure is done by injecting an iodine based contrast material to the blood vessels through the catheter. The catheter is usually inserted through an incision made in the groin area. The picture of blood vessels can be seen in the monitor. This will be recorded for further analysis. Apart from Peripheral Artery Disease, a Peripheral Angiography is also used to diagnose the following conditions:

  • Aneurysm or enlargements of arteries.
  • Conditions that affect the kidney arteries.
  • Vascular malformations.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis and other problems with the vein.
  • Pulmonary Embolism or blood clots in the lungs etc.

Peripheral Angioplasty: If the patient is identified with diseased blood vessels in the angiography test, the doctor may suggest and angioplasty on the same day or few days later to treat it. The treatment given immediately after the angiography test is called Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA) or intervention. A balloon catheter is used in the Angioplasty procedure. The balloon is fixed on the tip of the catheter and inserted near to the narrowed artery. After reaching the right position, the balloon is inflated. This helps the narrowed vessels to widen up. A Stent procedure may be required if the blockage does not respond to the Angioplasty procedure.

Renal Angiography & Angioplasty
Renal angiography is an imaging test of the blood vessels to the kidneys. As all the other kinds of Angiographies, renal Angiography is also done using the dye. It is done mainly to check the blood flow to the kidneys. During the test, the catheter is placed into the blood vessels of the kidney through a tiny incision. The dye is then injected into the catheter. X-rays are taken after injecting the dye. These X-rays help the doctor find whether there are any blockages in the kidney arteries.

The renal arteries supply blood to the kidneys. When there is an excessive plaque buildup inside these arteries, it causes blockages or narrowing. This blocks the blood supply to the kidneys. This condition is known as Atherosclerotic Renovascular Disease or ARVD. This may impair the kidney function and severe renal failure. Renal Angiography is done as a diagnostic method to identify the blockage so that serious future risks can be prevented.

Renal Angioplasty is the treatment procedure for renal artery blockages caused by the plaque deposits. The procedure is done by inserting the catheter into the arteries by making small incisions in the groin area. A balloon that is attached to the catheter is inflated when it reaches near the narrowed arteries. Inflated balloon helps to widen the arteries gradually. This procedure is known as Renal Angioplasty. If the renal arteries fail to respond to the angioplasty procedure, the doctor may suggest a Stent procedure as a solution.

A renal angiography may also be used for:

dentifying abnormal structural issues.
Identifying the presence of spasms in the vessels.
Identifying tumours.
Identifying high blood pressure in the arteries.

The procedure may not have any notable risks and complications. It is common to have a negligible amount of bruising. If it becomes painful, it should be informed to the doctor immediately.

Vertebral Angioplgraphy & Angioplasty
Blockages in the vertebral artery can cause insufficient blood flow to the brain. As a result, the person may have dizziness, sensory changes, visual impairments etc. This condition is known as Vertebral Basilar Insufficiency. Plaque buildup associated with this condition is different from other conditions. The plaques are smooth, hard, nonulcerous and concentric. To diagnose the location and other characteristics of the condition, tests like Doppler ultrasonography is insufficient. Radioactive angiography is said to be the best diagnostic method for vertebral Basilar insufficiency.

In the angiogram procedure, the surgeon will first make an incision in the groin area, or the wrist or the thigh. The catheter is then inserted through the artery. A fluorography is also used to assit the catheter to reach the vertebral artery. After that, a dye is injected into the artery. Meanwhile, an X-ray (angiogram) of this will be taken. The surgeon will be able to locate the blockage with the help of the X-ray.

If any blockage is detected, an angioplasty will be suggested to remove the blockage. It is a surgical procedure done with the help of an inflated balloon or stent. The balloon will be inserted into the blockage and then inflated to remove the blockage slowly. The balloon is attached to the end of the catheter and which is inserted into the artery through an incision made in the groin, thigh or wrist. The procedure is painless and has minimal complications and risks. Follow up will be suggested by the doctor, according to the condition of the patient after considering the overall health.

Subclavian Angiography & Angioplasty
A kind of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) characterized by a blockage in the subclavian artery is known as Subclavian Steal Syndrome (SSS). The condition causes symptoms in the arms as well as the brain. The symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease and Subclavian Steal Syndrome are almost similar to each other. A partial or mild condition of blockage can be treated with some exercise and medical therapies. Severe condition may cause dangerous implications such as double vision, ringing in the ear, loss of consciousness etc. Such cases may require a surgery.

The angiography procedure is done to find out the correct location and other details of the blockage. This is done by inserting a catheter into the subclavian artery by making and incision in the thigh, wrist or the groin area. A fluoroscope is also used to guide the catheter during the procedure. A dye passed through the catheter into the artery helps the doctor to find out the blockage location and other details. When the dye is injected, an X-ray is also made. The doctor analyses the X-ray for further study. The X-ray or angiogram helps the doctor to find out the exact location of the blockage.

Angioplasty is the procedure done to remove the blockage from the artery. As in all other angioplasty surgeries, the doctor inserts the catheter into the blocked artery. The balloon attached at the end of the catheter is inflated when it reaches near the blockage. It helps removing the blockage from the artery. If required, a stent may also be placed in the artery for keeping it enlarged even after the treatment. This can prevent the blockage. (please delete vertebral and subclavian)