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When dealing with heart related symptoms such as chest pain or as sever heart attacks a doctor will need to carry out a range of tests to establish the cause. There are many tests that can be conducted on the patient to diagnose the exact cause and extent of the problem that the heart has developed. The most common procedures in detecting such problems with the heart are in the form of X-ray scans.

Although the procedure exposes the patient to radiation, it produces a significantly high quality image of the heart and blood vessels. This gives your private heart specialist the information they require in order to select the correct treatment for you.

A coronary CT angiogram is one of the procedures that uses X-rays and special contrast dies in order to develop images of the heart and the coronaries. In the case of coronary heart disease (CAD), a private angiogram of the heart will show the exact location and to what extent plaque has accumulated in the arteries of the heart.

This is a minimally invasive procedure that makes use of a catheter inserted into the artery through a small incision. After guiding the catheter to the blood vessels or the coronary arteries, the contrast agent is then administered to the patient. After this, images of the arteries can be developed which will reveal any abnormalities or problems with its regular functions.

General procedures and protocols followed during a private CT angiogram

In order to get the best results from your final treatment it’s important to avoid taking any medication that interferes with the results of your test. You can arrange an appointment with your consultant cardiologist to discuss whether you need to stop taking the medication that you are on. You may also be asked not to eat or drink anything for a period before the private heart test.

After taking care to remove jewellery and items of clothing, trained professionals will then begin to evaluate the health and allergies of the patient to avoid complications during the procedure. Consent will then be taken from the patient and a number of initial health tests will be performed. The private angiogram will then begin.

In order to make the patient more comfortable they will usually be administered local anaesthesia and they will usually remain awake throughout the procedure. After the images are developed, the catheter is removed from the patient and the incision is sutured or sealed in order to avoid further bleeding or infection. The whole procedure takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. The results can then be used by the consultant cardiologist to determine the exact location and cause of the heart disease.

The risks associated with a coronary CT angiogram

Though it is an invasive procedure a private angiogram is relatively safe and simple. Due to the contrast agent inserted into the patient, allergic reactions may be provoked. Apart from this, the insertion of the catheter in the patient may cause bleeding. On rare occasions it may damage the coronary arteries during the examination. As the risks of the procedure are minimal, the positives significantly outweigh its negatives making it an extensively used procedure in detecting heart diseases.