Cardiac Catheterisation / Coronary Angiogram


What is cardiac catheterisation?

Cardiac catheterisation, which usually involves coronary angiography, is a procedure that is performed to obtain important information about the heart, including the position and severity of any narrowing in the coronary arteries. These are the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle.

What does cardiac catheterisation involve?

A thin flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery either in your wrist or groin. X-ray screening is used to guide the insertion of the catheter up to the heart. Fluid is then injected through the catheter, this allows the doctor to view your heart on the X-ray screen. You will have to lie flat on a x-ray table while this takes place. The procedure normally takes about half an hour and is usually a day case procedure.

Following the angiogram, the results will be discussed with you and recovery time is usually between 3-4 hours.

It is natural that some patients feel nervous undergoing medical procedures, therefore we are able to provide options for sedation that do not normally affect your recovery. Options for this can be discussed with your operator before your procedure.  Sometimes during this type of procedure patients may experience some discomfort. If this is the case it is important to tell the staff caring for you, as they can provide pain relief.

Due to the sensitive nature of the procedure, you must have a responsible adult to look after you at home once you are discharged.

For more information from the British Heart Foundation on cardiac catheterisation click here