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Departments: Angiography

What Happens?
The test may take about 40 minutes to 1.5 hours and is performed under local anaesthetic with a sedative to relax you. A doctor and nurse will be present to explain the procedure to you. The initial part of the procedure is the same as for coronary angiography. Once the catheter is in place a thin wire called a guide wire is threaded through the catheter towards the narrowed section of the artery. Over this the doctor will advance the angioplasty catheter that has a balloon at the tip. When the balloon is inflated you may experience some angina-type symptoms. These symptoms are normal but tell your doctor if you experience this. This may be repeated a few times until the artery is opened adequately.

A stent is a metal mesh or coil, which is designed to prevent the opened section of the artery from narrowing again.

What Happens Afterwards?
You will be given medicines that thin the blood during the angioplasty. After the procedure the sheath introducer is left in place until the blood begins to clot normally. This may take a few hours and then the sheath introducer will be removed. You may need bed rest for up to 24 hours.

Alternatively, an artery closure device may be used to close the puncture site. This allows you to sit up at 30 degrees immediately and mobilise after one hour. Your doctor will decide if this device is suitable for you.
The doctor will discuss the result of your angioplasty with you, and advise you on your medications before you are discharged.

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