Coronary Angiogram

A coronary angiogram is a test that allows Doctors to look at the blood vessels that supply the heart.  To do this, a small tube is placed into the artery at the top of the leg (called the femoral artery) or in the wrist (called the radial artery) under local anaesthetic.  When the local anaesthetic is injected into the skin, you may feel a sharp sensation followed by a sting but after that the area should go no numb and there should be no pain.  Small tubes called catheters are then inserted through the tube and dye is injected down the coronary arteries.  This is imaged on an x-ray camera.  Part of the test may also involve the injection of a larger amount of contrast to look at how the heart pumps.  When this contrast is injected, you may feel a hot flush.  This is a normal part of the test and will be short lived.