If your doctor diagnoses you with coronary artery disease, and it is not responding to medication, he or she may order this test to see the degree of blockage in your arteries.
Coronary artery disease occurs when the blood vessels that supply your heart become narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits known as plaque. This plaque narrows the arteries – and sometimes even blocks them – making it difficult for the blood to get through. Coronary artery disease can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms often develop only after the disease is at an advanced stage.
What happens after the procedure?
A nurse or doctor will apply direct pressure for 15 minutes or longer where the catheter was inserted to make sure there is no internal bleeding. Then you will be asked to lie quietly, likely for several hours. You will not be allowed to drive home, so be sure to have arranged a ride for yourself. Your doctor will discuss the results with you and indicate whether you are a good candidate for angioplasty. Your surgeon can also give you a better estimate of anticipated recovery time at the time of your consultation.