Having an Angiogram Patient Information

Cardiac Catheterisation

Is an x-ray test, which will provide vital information about the condition inside your heart and how well the pumping chambers and valves are working. Most importantly, it can show if there is any narrowing in the coronary arteries. This diagnostic test will be used to plan the best treatment for you: medical treatment, bypass surgery, angioplasty and stent.

Cardiac catheterisation is a routine, safe procedure but, like all surgical procedures it is associated with a small risk of complications and it is therefore, necessary that you are fully informed of this – you may get a bruise at the puncture site, rarely damage to the artery can occur that requires repair. Heart rhythm disturbances can occur. Deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, stroke and death are known complications but these are extremely rare.

Before your angiogram

Please make arrangements for your transport to and from the Hospital prior to the day of your test.

If you taking Warfarin tablets–please stop them for 4 days before your procedure. Please attend for a blood test to check your INR on the day before your test. A blood form will be given to you when you are in clinic. Please contact the Consultant’s secretary for your result, as if the INR is greater than 2 we may need to rebook your test.

If you are a Diabetic on Metformin-please do not take it on the day of your angiogram procedure. You will be advised when to restart them by the Doctor or nurse after the angiogram.

If the procedure is from your right groin, please shave this the night before.

You will be welcomed onto the unit by a nurse who will check your details are correct, she will also record your blood pressure and pulse.

A gown and paper pants will be provided for the procedure.

One of the Doctors will see you and explain the procedure to you and ask you to sign a consent form.

When it is time for your angiogram a member of the team will escort you to the catheter laboratory.

Your Angiogram

You will be lying down for this test and awake throughout this procedure and asked to lie flat and keep as still as possible.

Initially some ECG electrodes will be attached to your chest to record your heart rhythm. Depending on the Cardiologist he/she will use the right groin, right arm or right wrist as the approach route to your heart. This area will be cleaned with some iodine –this will feel cold.

You will be covered with a sterile drape and the procedure will be carried out under local anaesthetic, which is used to freeze the skin. After a few minutes the area will be numb and the test can be started. The Doctor introduces a fine flexible tube into the blood vessel, this should not be painful, but you may feel some pressure. A fine catheter will be passed through the tube and dye will be injected to outline the coronary arteries to assess the severity of any narrowing and to assess the pumping action of the heart.

On the assessment of the hearts pumping action you will feel warm as the dye is injected, some patients feel as if they have wet themselves this is only a feeling and will pass quickly.

If the tube has been introduced from your right groin it may be possible at the end of the procedure to seal the opening in your artery by a special device called an angioseal. Alternatively you will be taken to the recovery area where the tube in the circulation will be removed. Pressure will be applied to stop any bleeding that may occur and to seal of the opening of the artery by natural means, which is by formation of a clot.

After your Angiogram

The catheter entry site will determine the recovery time. You will be taken to the recovery area where you will be asked to remain flat. During this time your blood pressure and catheter site will be checked regularly. The Doctor who carried out your angiogram will come and see you on the ward and discuss the results with you. Arrangements will be made for you to see the Consultant in Clinic or you may be referred for a balloon angioplasty/ stent or heart surgery. You will be allowed home with your escort once the doctor has seen you.

Occasionally it may be necessary to keep

At Home

You must have somebody at home with you on the first night of your angiogram. This is in case you need any help in the night or you have any problems.

For the 48 hours following the procedure, we advise you to rest .Do not do anything strenuous i.e.. Lifting or hoovering.

Do not have a bath or shower on the evening of your angiogram -leave it to the following day.

You may eat as normal.

If you are taking Warfarin you may re-start that evening unless the doctor tells you otherwise.

If you take Metformin do not take it until 2 days after the procedure unless otherwise instructed.

Do not drive for 36 hours after your angiogram.

You may get some slight bruising around the puncture site; this is acceptable as long as it is not swollen or painful.

If there is any bleeding from the puncture site you need to apply pressure to the area and telephone immediately for an ambulance which will take you to the nearest casualty department.

The same applies if you get a large swelling or a lot of pain at the puncture site.

After 48 hours you can slowly resume your normal activities.

Contact Numbers

Cardiac Catheter Laboratory

01942 7 7 3 3 9 2

01942 7 7 3 3 9 3


Research is undertaken to add to the existing scientific knowledge on a particular subject. There are a number of staff within the Trust who conduct Research studies. It is possible that during the course of your treatment you may be asked to take part in a research study, however, you do have the right to refuse, and this will not affect the care that you receive.

Your NHS Number, Keep it Safe.

Every person registered with the NHS in England and Wales has their own unique NHS Number. It is made up of 10 digits for example 123 456 7890.

Everyone needs to use the NHS Number to identify you correctly. It is an important step towards improving the safety of your healthcare.

Always bring your NHS number with you to all hospital appointments or quote it if you need to telephone the hospital for any enquires. This will allow staff to check that they have the right patient details by checking this against your NHS number.

To improve safety always check your NHS Number on correspondence the NHS sends to you.

Ways of finding out your NHS Number

If you do not know your NHS number, contact your GP or local Primary Care Trust. You may be asked for proof of identity, for example a passport or other form of identity this is to protect your privacy.

Once you have obtained your NHS Number write it down and Keep it Safe

Data Protection

The Trust will endeavour to ensure that your information remains secure and confidential at all times. The Data Protection Act 1998 explains how personal information should be processed and this applies to all information whether held on paper or electronically on computer systems. We must ensure that all personal information is processed fairly, lawfully and as transparently as possible so you:

Understand reasons for us processing your personal information

Give your consent for the disclosure and use of information where necessary

Gain trust in the way we handle your information

Understand your rights regarding the right to request access about the information we hold about you.

The Caldicott Guardian, who is a senior health clinician, has the role to ensure we meet the highest standards for handling personal information at the Trust.

For further information regarding data protection, please read our leaflet called “Protecting Your Data - How we use your health records” or visit the Information Governance pages on the Trust website.

Patient Relations

The Patient Relations Department provides confidential on the spot advice, information and support to patients, relatives, friends and carers. We will do our best to help you to resolve any concerns you may have about the care you received. We can also give you information on the services provided by the Trust.

If you have a concern or there is a problem, the best way to get it resolved is usually to tell someone there and then. On a ward, talk to the sister or charge nurse on duty. In a clinic, talk to the receptionist or one of the nursing staff. If you want to talk to a senior manager or to someone who has not been directly involved in your care and treatment, we can usually arrange this during office hours. You can also ask to speak to a member of the Patient Relations Department.

Staff in any ward or department will be able to contact a member of the team for you or you can telephone 01942 8 2 2 3 7 6. The Patient Relations Department is open Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Outside of these hours there is an answer-phone service.

If you wish to make a formal complaint you can telephone or write to:

The Patient Relations Manager

Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Albert Edward Infirmary

Wigan Lane

Wigan WN1 2NN

Telephone: 01942 8 2 2 3 7 6

This leaflet is also available in audio, large print, Braille and other languages upon request.

For more information call 01942 7 7 3 1 0 6.

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