During your consultation, you may be recommended for further evaluation and possible intervention at one of our catheterization labs. Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the different ways we image and treat our patients.
An angiogram is an outpatient procedure performed under light anesthesia to capture an image of the blood vessels. Because arteries are not normally visible by x-ray, a special dye and camera are used to highlight the vessels.
The physician will insert a catheter into one of a number of possible locations and guide it through the vessel to the area of interest. Once in position, a special dye is injected. As the dye passes through the artery, an x-ray is taken to mark the flow of blood.
If the patient has an allergy to our dye or has poor kidney function, we can utilize carbon dioxide instead.
Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS)
A small ultrasound device is attached to a catheter and guided through the femoral artery (in the groin area) to the area(s) of concern.
A specialized device is used to open a vessel, remove plaque or other debris to improve blood flow. A number of devices are available to perform this procedure and selection is at the discretion of the physician.
A stent is used to open a vessel and improve blood flow. Often combined with both atherectomy and angioplasty, the vascular specialist will insert a cylindrical metal wire mesh tube into the artery in order to keep the blood flow channel open.
Angioplasty refers to a technique used to open blocked arteries by inflation of a balloon catheter. This technique is also utilized in the angiography suite frequently in conjunction with both atherectomy and stenting although not always. The balloon is removed after it is used.