ZocdocAnswersWhat should I expect before an after coronary angiography?

Question

What should I expect before an after coronary angiography?

Good evening, I am going to have a conorary angiography. What should I expect. It shouldn'thurt correct?

Answer

A coronary angiography is a fairly common procedure. The steps which are taken during this procedure are fairly standard, however vary greatly depending on what exactly is found. I would recommend that you discuss this with your cardiologist. Preparation for the angiography is minimal. You should check with your doctor that there are no specific medications he or she wants you to hold. One common medication people are told to hold is metformin (a diabetes medication). Check with your cardiologist if there is anything else. You also will likely be told not to eat anything on the morning of the procedure. The actual procedure is done by sticking a small catheter (like a plastic needle) either in the artery of your wrist (radial artery) or of your leg (femoral artery). The leg approach is often easier -- but is located in the high inner thigh -- right in the groin region. You will get numbing medicine and some medicine to make you feel a little drowsy, but will be awake and talking during the procedure. You may feel the needle stick, but otherwise not much else so it really should not hurt. Depending on what they find, they may need to either place different catheters but not much else would change. After, recovery is quick -- normally observation for the afternoon or overnight to make sure the wrist of leg is ok. Otherwise, if uncomplicated, you could leave later that day or the next morning. Talk to your cardiologist for more information.

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