Historically, one of the biggest challenges in medicine has been the study of veins and arteries. In the past, the methods that were used to study the cardiovascular system were very invasive and they were reserved for special cases. This is why the ultrasound and the x-rays have suffered many modifications through the years with the objective of being able to "see" the blood vessels through the skin.
Since 1899, the researchers are trying to improve the fluoroscopy and radiography, but it was until 1929 when the experts developed the cardiac catheterization and angiocardiography, which was considered a huge advance in this field. Since that moment, the researchers have looked for a new method as minimally invasive as possible, developing the angiography.
What is an Angiography?
The angiography has been defined by the Inside Radiology experts as an X-ray imaging of blood vessels. To obtain this image, it is necessary to inject some contrast agents into the bloodstream through a catheter.
The x-rays images obtained from this procedure are called angiograms, and they can help doctors to diagnose blood vessels abnormalities, such as narrowing or blockage, abnormal widening, inflammation or intern bleeding.
Why must I Undergo an Angiography?
This procedure is always recommended by an internist or a specialist in cardiovascular diseases. However, you may need to undergo an angiography if the doctor needs to evaluate your blood vessels and your blood flow, or if he/she suspects that you have a vascular disease.
The angiography is required, for example, to study a patient with narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), reduced blood supply to the muscles of the extremities (peripheral arterial disease), chronic chest pain (angina (please follow the link to read on Angina Pectoris Treatment), to study a bulge in a blood vessel (medically called aneurysm), suspicion of blood clots or an embolism in the lungs or kidneys, among others.
Finally, an angiography can be used to guide some cardiovascular procedures such as an angioplasty or a stent insertion.
How is the Angiography Performed?
The procedure lasts approximately 30 minutes, and you'll usually be awake or under a mild sedation to help you relax. To start the angiography, the doctor will carefully inject the contrast liquid into the bloodstream (usually called Iodine-containing contrast medium or ICCM) through a flexible catheter.
Another specialist in X-rays takes a series of X-rays as the dye flows through your blood vessels and the cardiovascular doctor guides the catheter towards the area that will be examined. You must remain some minutes in a recovery room when the procedure is finished to avoid any complication.
How Much does an Angiography Cost?
The cost of an angiography is widely variable because it depends on the urgency with which the procedure must be performed, whether it is performed as part of another procedure (such as an angioplasty) or not, the patient´s general health condition and age, the reason why the procedure must be performed, among others.
So, if you need to undergo an angiography, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly answer all your questions and look for the best specialists.