What happens after an angiogram?

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If the angiogram shows serious blockages, the interventional cardiologist may immediately perform a coronary interventional procedure, such as balloon angioplasty and stenting, to open the blockage and restore blood flow to your heart. Or he or she may refer you for bypass surgery, a surgical method for restoring blood flow.

If your angiogram shows plaque build-up that does not require immediate attention, your doctor will review the pictures and study your condition in more detail before recommending a plan of action, which may include lifestyle changes and/or medications.

When the procedure is complete, the catheter is removed and the doctor may use a device to seal the artery puncture site. Otherwise, the doctor or nurse applies pressure to the point on your leg or arm at which the catheter was inserted and holds it for about 20 minutes.

After the wound is dressed, and if the catheter was inserted in your leg, you will be asked to lie still and avoid bending your leg or lifting your head. You may need to be still for two to six hours after the catheter is removed.