Friday, February 17, 2006

Angiogram

A blah! week since last Friday when mum was warded for unstable angina. She was discharged the next day. She has a heart condition brought on by hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Took her to UMMC for a doctor's appointment yesterday and scheduled an angiogram in March. Here's some info on what an angiogram is all about. I've reproduced it here.

A coronary angiogram (or arteriogram) is an x-ray of the arteries located on the surface of the heart (the coronary arteries). It helps the physician to see if any of those arteries are blocked, usually by fatty plaque. If so, the patient An angiogram is an imaging test used to visualize the size, shape and location of blood vessels.may be diagnosed with coronary artery disease (CAD).

A coronary angiogram is often conducted along with other catheter–based tests as part of cardiac catheterization, which also includes measuring blood pressure, taking samples for blood tests, and a left ventriculogram.

During an angiogram, the physician injects a special dye (contrast medium) into the coronary arteries. To do that, the physician inserts a thin tube (catheter) through a blood vessel, usually in the upper thigh, and guides it all the way up to the heart. Once the catheter is in place, the physician can inject the dye through the catheter and into the coronary arteries. Then the x–ray can be taken.

Although the physician typically numbs the area where he or she inserts the catheter, the patient is awake for the entire procedure. The patient receives a mild sedative before the procedure and does not ordinarily feel the movement of the catheter within the blood vessels.Balloon angioplasty and stenting are procedures to increase blood flow through a narrowed artery.

Depending on what the angiogram shows, the physician may recommend treatments such as medication, a catheter-based procedure (e.g., balloon angioplasty, coronary stenting) or surgery (e.g., bypass surgery).

Here's a very detailed explanation on what happens during and after the angiogram.

We'll get a clear picture when the angiogram's done. Are there blockages in the arteries? If so, how many? She's a likely candidate for heart attack but she says her heart is okay. I hope her optimism is rewarded.

P/S : I know this sounds so clinical and cold but I'm not in the mood to write something emotional.

10 comments:

Kak Teh said...

Lydia, I hope afterthe angiogram, your mum will be better. My sister went through that as well and it helped her. And thanks for the explanation.

Lydia Teh said...

KT, I think you mean angioplasty. The angiogram is merely to show where the blockages are via the injected dye. The angioplasty is to insert "balloons" to widen the arteries. Thanks for your encouraging words.

Jane Sunshine said...

Hope things get better for your mom.

pu1pu3 said...

Hope all would be well. Don't really know what to write in times like this....

Lydia Teh said...

Jane, thank you.
P1p3, I know what you mean. Thank you.

mumsgather said...

Lydia, I hope your mum is ok and don't need further treatment. My dad's making quite good recovery from his stroke.

blinka.Li said...

Stay composed and calm in time like this. Read more if you can so that u can understand and talk the doctor or doctors better. Be strong.

blinka.Li said...

oh btw, pray hard. will do so for your mom. :)

Lydia Teh said...

Mg, Glad to hear about your dad's recovery. I certainly hope so about mum.
Blinka.li, Thanks. I've never been a science enthusiast but forced to read up medical stuff in order to understand more.

vagus said...

how did the angio go?