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Coronary Angiogram

A coronary angiogram is a special x-ray test that shows the doctor pictures of your coronary arteries (the blood vessels in your heart) and whether or not these arteries are narrowed. 

A very narrow soft plastic tube is inserted in the artery at the top of your leg or arm.  It is then passed up into the coronary arteries so that dye can be feed through it.  The tube and the special dye show up on x-ray so the doctor can see where the tube is and if your arteries are narrowed.  You don't need to be put to sleep for this test.  You will get some local anesthetic into the skin to freeze it.  You will also get some medicine to make you a bit drowsy and relaxed if you need it (many people don't) but the test is pretty painless.  Usually you get home the same day. 

A coronary angiogram must be carried out before a balloon angioplasty or coronary artery by-pass operation can be planned.  But not all patients having a coronary angiogram need an angioplasty or by-pass operation. 

A coronary angiogram may be recommended:

a) If you have angina that is still troublesome even when you have tried different tablets
or
b) If your treadmill Exercise ECG test is abnormal