All About Angiography: What to Expect

All About Angiography: What to Expect

Dr. Nirav Patel is a vascular specialist whose primary medical focus is keeping your veins and arteries healthy and your blood flowing as it should throughout your body.

His practice, Premier Vascular, in Yonkers and Jackson Heights, New York, offers the most effective minimally invasive procedures available to clear health complications and symptoms related to varicose veins, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), chronic wounds, and other circulatory issues. 

Dr. Patel and his team explain the many diagnostic benefits of angiography and what to expect during your study.

Understanding vascular disease

If stretched into a straight line, your vascular system includes about 60,000 miles of arteries, veins, and capillaries that transport blood throughout your body in a continuous circulatory loop that starts and ends at the heart.

Nutrient-rich oxygenated blood leaves your heart through arteries that branch into increasingly smaller vessels and eventually connect with tiny capillaries that deliver blood to cells throughout your body.

The capillaries also pick up used blood and waste products from your cells and carry it back to small veins that branch into increasingly larger veins, as the blood makes its journey back to your heart and lungs for refueling.

Vascular disease occurs when plaque (fatty deposits), blood clots, inflammation, or valve defects related to varicose veins, trauma, and other conditions block or restrict blood flow through your veins and arteries.

How does angiography help in diagnosing vascular disease?

An angiogram is a diagnostic imaging study that Dr. Patel can use to pinpoint problematic veins or arteries that may result in:

A specialized dye (contrast dye) injected into the vessel(s) during angiography helps the X-ray capture detailed images of blood as it flows through the vein or artery and highlights abnormalities such as narrowing, plaque formation, or clots.

Dr. Patel may also recommend angiography to evaluate the effectiveness of previous treatment, such as balloon angioplasty and stenting, to widen arteries affected by PAD.

What happens during angiography?

Dr. Patel discusses the procedure in detail before scheduling your angiography. Generally, however, you are awake but sedated during the study to help you relax.

After numbing the area to prevent discomfort, your provider gains access to an artery, usually in your groin or wrist, via a puncture-type incision. He then inserts a small catheter into the artery and carefully advances it under X-ray guidance to the area under study, where he releases dye from the catheter and captures images of the blood flow.

Some people note a very mild burning sensation with injection of the contrast dye or pressure when the catheter is first inserted. Typically, however, angiography is a painless study that’s useful in diagnosing your condition and in planning future treatment.

For more information about vascular disease and services we offer at Premier Vascular, schedule an evaluation with Dr. Patel today. Call the nearest office or request an appointment online.

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