An angiogram is an intricate procedure that allows a cardiologist (a
doctor who specializes in functions of the heart) to guide a thin plastic tube
called a catheter to the heart to determine if there is any narrowing or
blockage within the coronary arteries (arteries that supply the heart muscle).
Freezing is injected into one side of the patient’s groin area. The
patient may feel some pressure in this area as the doctor finds the artery and
makes a small incision. Once the incision is made, a sheath is inserted into
the artery and acts as a guideline or tunnel for the catheter to follow to the
heart. The patient will not feel the catheter as it moves through their artery
and into their heart.
At different times during the test, small amounts of contrast media
(dye) are injected into the coronary arteries or chambers of the heart in order
for sharper images to be taken. As the contrast media is injected, the patient
will be asked to take a deep breath and to hold it while a series of x-rays are
taken and recorded onto film.
The patient will then be transferred to a stretcher and taken to the
recovery area for approximately three to four hours for close observation and
When the angiogram has been completed, a nurse will remove the sheath
and apply firm pressure to the puncture site using a mechanical clamp to stop
The cardiologist will briefly review the results with the patient
immediately following the test. An office visit with the patient’s cardiologist
will be arranged for two to three weeks following the angiogram to discuss
further treatment plans.
Individuals wishing more information on angiograms, can click here to read the Cardiac Catheterization patient information booklet.
Special Note: The diagnostic benefits of an angiogram
outweigh the risks associated with exposure to x-ray radiation injections of
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) or angioplasty is a specialized
procedure used to clear blockages within the coronary arteries—blood vessels
that feed oxygen to the heart. Depending on the location and severity of the
blockage and the patient’s specific risk factors, a balloon, as well as a stent
or a stent with medications embedded within it, are utilized during the
A thin plastic tube called a catheter with a special balloon is inserted
into the coronary artery at the site of the narrowing. By inflating the
balloon, it opens and stretches the artery slowly, which results in improved
blood flow to the heart. If required, a metal coil called a stent may be used
to keep the coronary artery open. Once the stent is inserted, it is enlarged
and pressed against the sides of the blood vessel.
Individuals wishing more information on PCI on angioplasty, can read the Angioplasty: Information for Patients brochure.
Individuals who are scheduled to have a PCI procedure may be given an
appointment at the York PCI Group Inc. Clinic approximately 1 – 2 weeks before
their procedure. During the clinic visit, patients will be assessed by an
interventional cardiologist (a doctor who is qualified to perform PCI
The York PCI clinic is located at:
641 David Drive