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We speak to Mr JS, a 57 year old male who had a heart angiogram five years ago.........

Why did you need an angiogram?

''It all started when I had a heart attack. I woke up during the night feeling terrible, with a severe pain in my back. I thought that this was just a worse episode of my usual back pain, so took some painkillers. On my way back to bed I felt really dizzy, then must have collapsed. My wife called an ambulance and by the time they arrived I was conscious again. They took a heart reading and said I might be having a heart attack! Now this was a surprise, as I thought that heart attacks caused chest pain going down the left arm; apparently they usually do, but can occasionally give different symptoms like mine. I then got taken into hospital where they took some blood and said that the results showed I had had a mild heart attack.

I stayed in hospital for a few days and was asked to do an 'exercise stress test'. This is where I had to go on a treadmill for about 12 minutes whilst my heart was monitored. This showed mild changes only so I was then discharged home. The Consultant wanted to be sure about things, though, so he arranged an angiogram''.


What was the angiogram like?

''Not too bad really. I was asked to go into hospital for the day to have the procedure. After being checked in by the nurse I was taken from the ward to the theatre room for the angio. It was under local anaesthetic, which involved a small injection in my right Coronary artery anatomyinner thigh which made the skin go numb. The specialist then made a small cut in the skin and pushed a long wire up into the thigh artery. This just felt like a strange pushing feeling.

They used dye to look at the arteries around the heart; when this was injected it gave me a strange warm feeling in my head that lasted a few seconds. They took x-rays and after a short while the wire was pulled out. Firm pressure was put over the thigh area for about twenty minutes and I was then taken back to the ward''.

Then what happened?

''I was taken back to the ward and had to lie still for three hours. I guess this reduces any chance of bleeding from the thigh. The Consultant then came round and told me the results of the angio - the arteries were 80,90 and 100% blocked, so I would need to have a heart bypass operation (click to read about the Real Experience). I was then told that I could go home, and the hospital would contact me about the bypass date''.

Did you have any complications?

''I'd heard that you can have bruising and soreness after an angio, but I had no problems at all''.

Do you have any advice for someone having an angiogram?

''I can honestly say that the procedure itself was fine, easy in fact. Being told I needed a bypass was probably the hardest bit, so be prepared for that eventuality just in case''.
Learn more about angiography in our Procedure Info pages
This page is for information only, and does not replace a Specialist. Your experience may not be the same as above and the surgery, tests or other management may not be as described as above. If you are concerned about any health issues, you should contact your general practitioner or specialist for healthcare advice. Please also read our disclaimer.



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