Coronary angiography is a common diagnostic test used by doctors to identify conditions, such as coronary artery disease and aneurysms. In our previous blog, we discussed how the procedure is carried out and when it’s used. Click here to check it out.
Angiography is a minimally invasive procedure, which makes it extremely safe. However, it can involve a few minor side effects. The benefits outweigh the risks for most patients. However, in some cases, coronary angiography can result in serious complications.
In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the risks and side effects associated with coronary angiography.
Common Side Effects of Coronary Angiography
If you’re planning to visit the doctor for an angiography, you can expect one or more of the following side effects:
- A buildup of blood (resulting in a bump)
All these symptoms are localized to the area where the cut was made for inserting the catheter. Most patients experience a gradual improvement in these side effects without medical intervention. You can take painkillers to relieve discomfort after the procedure.
Complications of Coronary Angiography
If you’re lucky, you’ll come out of coronary angiography with minor bruising and swelling. However, some patients develop the following complications:
- An infection near the cut :- It makes the area around the cut red, swollen, and tender.
- An allergic reaction to the dye :- It usually results in an itchy rash.
In both cases, proper use of medications can help control the side effects. For instance, antibiotics can be used in the case of an infection. Similarly, your doctor might prescribe antihistamines if you experience an allergic reaction.
It’s worth mentioning that coronary angiography comes with a few potential serious complications. These include:
- Kidney damage (from the dye)
- Cardiac arrest or stroke
- Internal bleeding (due to damaged blood vessels)
- Anaphylaxis (due to severe allergic response to the dye)
The good news is that these complications are extremely rare (affecting less than one in every 1000 patients). Also, kidney damage due to angiography is usually temporary. Moreover, internal bleeding can be contained with the help of catheter based approaches.
Seeking Medical Help
Complications from coronary angiography are rare. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor if you notice anything unusual after the procedure. For instance, if the leg or arm where the cut was made looks pale or feels numb, it’s a cause for concern. Similarly, if you notice bleeding, redness, or a firm lump near the cut, it could indicate a potential infection. It’s always a good idea to watch out for these signs and consult your doctor for timely treatment.
Coronary angiography is a safe and minimally invasive procedure. It can cause minor side effects, such as pain and swelling. However, in extreme cases, it can also lead to a heart attack or kidney damage. It’s crucial to talk to your doctor about the potential risks before going in for the procedure.
Dr. C Raghu has more than two decades of experience in treating patients with different heart conditions. If you have queries or concerns about coronary angiography, feel free to reach out to Dr. Raghu today.