An interventional cardiologist uses an angiogram to diagnose aneurysms which are bulges that develop in the weak artery walls. Angiography results also help detect atherosclerosis, a condition that deposits plaque and fatty material in the arteries. Likewise, results can detect blood clots in the lungs, an abnormal narrowing of the blood vessels that reach the brain, heart, or legs, and structural defects that have been present since birth. Besides this, an angiogram also helps doctors evaluate blood vessels before surgery, plan further treatment, identify blood vessels that are reaching the tumour, and evaluate the performance of a stent after placement. Angiography does not typically have any serious complications.
How much time does an angiography take?
Right from lying down on an X-ray table for a small incision to a series of X-ray images as the dye flows through the body, the procedure generally takes 30 minutes to 3 hours. The procedure gets longer when the doctor plans to conduct a second procedure called angioplasty. Doctors perform it if they find narrow or obstructed arteries during the procedure. They conduct it to widen the blocked or narrowed blood vessels.
Can an angiography be done twice?
Yes. Doctors can suggest angiography twice if a person develops a blocked blood vessel again. Often blood vessels that were unblocked previously develop plaque and fatty material again. This blockage can reach other blood vessels which were not affected the last time. In one such scenario, doctors can decide to conduct an angiogram again.
The contrast dye inserted into the veins to highlight affected blood vessels and take angiogram images leaves the body within a day or so. Still, it is difficult to comment on the exact circumstances during which angiographies can be done simultaneously on a person. It is not uncommon to have several angiographies in the same person. It even shows that people do not usually have a significant risk with the procedure.
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