ngiography is a diagnostic procedure that detects cardiac abnormalities. An angiography is performed to evaluate blood supply, heart abnormalities, heart and heart valve functions. Cardiac angiography is also used as a therapeutic procedure that may help repair heart defects, open blocked arteries and blocked heart valves. The procedure is quick, painless and does not require a long recuperation. Depending on results found during the angiography procedure, you may receive further information and instructions regarding care from your physician.
An angiography is a very effective diagnostic procedure for any individual experiencing chest pain, as well as those recently recovering from a heart attack or other cardiac episode or abnormality. Your doctor may also suggest an angiography for anyone suspected of having a heart defect or those undergoing any type of planned heart surgery.
An angiography literally takes pictures of the heart muscle in action. Pictures are taken from inside the heart, which help identify and determine adequate blood flow in the valves and major arteries of the heart muscle, or identify areas of blockage or damage caused by heart disease or stroke.
The diagnostic procedure is performed through catheterization. During a catheterization, an area on the inside of the groin is numbed with a topical anesthetic. A small incision is made into an artery or vein and a thin catheter wire is placed into the incision. A catheter wire is then inserted into the incision and carefully threaded through the blood vessels that lead to the heart.
The doctor examines and analyzes the function of blood vessel pathways in the heart muscle using an x-ray machine, in a process called fluoroscopy, a procedure viewed on x-ray to show a beating heart, or lungs inflating and deflating with the use of computer imagery, technology and a monitor screen. While not used as widely due to newer procedures such as echocardiography, fluoroscopy is still utilized in cardiac catheterization, angiography and electrophysiologic testing procedures.
Once the catheter reaches its ultimate destination as determined by your doctor, and depending on which area of the heart he or she wishes to view, contrast materials are then injected via the catheter and surprisingly detailed pictures are then produced. Once there, the tip of the catheter is able to measure blood flow, pressure, volume, and function of the heart. The procedure takes between 45 minutes and an hour.
Cardiac catheterization procedure, depending on location, may range in price between $2,400 and $4,000, sometimes reaching a national average of $6,000 in larger cities in the United States. Medical travelers venturing to such destinations as Asia, South America, and the Philippines may save between 20 and 50% on the same procedure.
A cardiologist trained in noninvasive as well as invasive cardiac procedures may perform a cardiac catheterization procedure. Interventional cardiologists perform procedures such as the placement of stents in arteries, balloon angioplasty, as well as catheterizations. Trained and certified cardiologist may perform interventional procedures and tests, including most angioplasty procedures. Cardiologists are not surgeons.
Cardiologist should be a fully trained physician certified to treat various cardiovascular problems and issues. He or she should have graduated from an approved and accredited medical school or college, have at least 2-3 years experience in providing patient care and several years of specialized cardiovascular education and experience. Make sure that the cardiologist you choose is certified and accredited in his or her country of origin.
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