What is an angiogram of the heart after a heart attack

What is an angiogram? 

An angiogram, also called coronary angiography, is based on “cardiac catheterization,” which refers to the insertion of a catheter a small flexible tube into the heart. This invasive procedure is performed in a hospital. The tube is inserted under local anesthesia through an artery in the arm or groin area of the leg and carefully guided into the heart. After the catheter has reached the heart, a dye is injected that allows the heart’s arteries to be measured for narrowing due to atherosclerosis. This procedure is considered the most definitive way to determine how much atherosclerosis you have and is regarded by many cardiologists as the mainstay of heart disease diagnosis.

When an angiogram is done, the doctor might find the narrowing so serious that the catheter is then immediately used as a tool to open the clogged artery seen in the angiogram. This procedure, called angioplasty or balloon angioplasty, is done by inflating a balloon in the artery to squeeze the plaque to a smaller size.

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