This is a procedure used to examine your coronary arteries. Those are the vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle. This procedure can help your doctor find blockages in these arteries.
To begin, you lie on your back. You are given medicine to help you feel relaxed. The doctor numbs a place on your arm, groin, upper thigh or neck.
Through this numbed tissue, the doctor makes a small opening to reach a blood vessel. A tube called a "sheath" is placed in the vessel to hold it open. Then, a long, thin tube called a "catheter" is inserted. It's gently guided through the vessel to your heart. The doctor uses a video x-ray device called a "fluoroscope" to help position it properly. Then, contrast dye is injected in the coronary arteries. If you have a blockage, the dye will reveal it. Your doctor takes images of your heart for study.
When the procedure is done, the catheter and sheath are removed. The opening is closed, and you are bandaged and monitored. Follow your healthcare provider's tips after the procedure.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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