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Coronary angiography, also known as cardiac catheterization or coronary angiogram, is a diagnostic procedure used to visualize the blood vessels (coronary arteries) supplying the heart muscle. It is commonly performed to assess the presence of blockages or narrowing in these arteries, which can contribute to conditions such as angina (chest pain) or heart attacks.

Here is an overview of the coronary angiography procedure:

1. Preparation:

  • Before the procedure, the patient is usually given instructions about fasting and discontinuing certain medications.
  • An intravenous (IV) line is inserted to administer medications and fluids during the procedure.

2. Local Anesthesia:

  • A local anesthetic is applied to the area where the catheter will be inserted, typically in the groin or wrist.

3. Catheter Insertion:

  • A thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through a blood vessel (usually the femoral artery in the groin or radial artery in the wrist) and guided toward the coronary arteries.

4. Contrast Dye Injection:

  • A contrast dye is injected through the catheter into the coronary arteries. This dye makes the arteries visible on X-ray images.

5. X-ray Imaging:

  • X-ray images (angiograms) are taken as the contrast dye outlines the coronary arteries, revealing any blockages or abnormalities.

6. Pressure Measurements:

  • Pressure measurements within the heart chambers and blood vessels may be taken to assess blood flow and evaluate the severity of any blockages.

7. Completion and Catheter Removal:

  • Once the necessary images and measurements are obtained, the catheter is carefully removed.

8. Recovery:

  • After the procedure, the patient is monitored for a few hours to ensure there are no complications.
  • Mild discomfort, bruising, or tenderness at the catheter insertion site is common but generally resolves quickly.

Coronary angiography provides detailed information about the condition of the coronary arteries and helps guide treatment decisions. If significant blockages are identified, additional procedures such as angioplasty and stent placement may be performed during the same session to open narrowed arteries and improve blood flow to the heart.

While coronary angiography is generally considered safe, it carries some risks, and complications may include bleeding at the catheter insertion site, allergic reactions to the contrast dye, or damage to blood vessels. These risks are usually minimal, and the benefits of obtaining accurate diagnostic information often outweigh the potential risks.

Coronary angiography cost in Iran

Screening tests are not usually covered by some insurance companies. As a result, some patients opt for medical tourism to cut down their expenses. While an angiogram can cost about $5000 in the USA, Iranian hospitals offer the same quality service while charging about only a fraction of that price. Contact us to get an updated price quote for angiography in Iran.