An angiogram in a U.S. hospital or cardiology clinic can cost $12,000 or more, whereas the procedure at Angeles Health is just $3000, including travel costs. Price should never be the only consideration when making a decision about your health, and in addition to cost savings Angeles Health also offers the support and expertise of a multidisciplinary team of specialists who help patients understand and manage all of the obstacles they may face in reclaiming healthy lives. Our facilities and medical technology represent healthcare value that is of the highest standard.
What to Expect from a Coronary Angiogram Procedure?
During an angiogram procedure the patient is positioned lying down on his or her back on a special table in the hospital examination room. An IV line is then inserted into one of the patient’s veins and a mild sedative may be given to help the patient relax. Patients remain awake during the angiogram so they can listen to the doctors and nurses and follow their instructions as well as be able to report to the medical staff any discomfort or other feelings they may have during the procedure.
Electrodes are placed on the patient’s chest to monitor the heart during the procedure. Blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in the patient’s blood is also measured during an angiogram. The site where the catheter is to be inserted (usually near the groin or in one arm) is washed and then numbed with a local anesthetic. A small incision is made at the insertion site and a plastic sheath is inserted into an artery or vein. The sheath serves as the entryway for the catheter, which is then threaded to the patient’s heart.
Once the catheter is in place, special contrast dye is injected into the catheter. This can cause flushing of the face or a warm sensation throughout the body in many patients. It may also cause some to feel their heart is skipping beats. One reason patients are kept awake during an angiogram is so they can report to the doctor or nurse how they are feeling during the procedure. The dye then moves through the patient’s blood vessels, during which an X-ray machine is used to take a rapid series of images (angiograms) which give the doctor a detailed picture of the inside of the heart’s blood vessels and allow him or her to identify any blockages or areas of obstruction.
After the procedure the incision is closed with a plug or clamp; in some cases a nurse may use manual pressure to close it off. The patient is observed and monitored in the recovery room, where he or she must rest and lie flat for up to several hours after the angiogram is completed.
Are you an ideal Coronary Angiogram Candidate?
The American Heart Association recommends a coronary angiogram for any patient who has previously undergone tests such as a cardiac stress test, the results of which suggest severe coronary artery disease, especially if additional risk factors are present. A stress test compares the results of a patient’s electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) while at rest to their EKG during and after the heart being under stress. If a patient has severe symptoms such as chest pain (angina), at rest or with minimal exertion, an angiogram is usually recommended.
Angiograms are most commonly used to confirm the presence of coronary artery disease, but because the symptoms of heart disease often do not present themselves until the disease is well progressed, any patient experiencing angina or shortness of breath may be a candidate for a diagnostic angiogram.
Patients with previously diagnosed symptoms of cardiovascular disease whose symptoms have not been controlled with medicine or drug therapy, or whose chest pain and shortness of breath have begun to affect their daily lives, are candidates for an angiogram.
Patients with confirmed severe cardiovascular disease routinely undergo an angiogram procedure to determine whether coronary bypass surgery or an angioplasty are the appropriate next steps in the treatment of their disease.
Risk factors increasing the advisability of an angiogram include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Patients in occupations involving the safety of others (pilots, bus drivers, etc.), or who are otherwise considered to present special risks should they have a heart attack are also candidates for an angiogram.
Benefits and Risks of Coronary Angiogram Procedure?
An Angiogram may eliminate the need for surgery to treat cardiovascular disease. In cases where surgery remains necessary, it can be performed more accurately when a patient has had an angiogram.Angiograms present a very detailed, clear and accurate picture of the blood vessels in a patient’s heart, which is especially helpful in cases where surgery is being considered. An angiogram makes it possible to assess vessels in several specific areas. In fact, a smaller catheter may be passed through the larger one into a branch artery supplying a small area of tissue or a tumor; this is called superselective angiography.
Unlike non-invasive procedures such as computed tomography (CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the use of a catheter makes it possible to combine diagnosis and treatment in a single procedure. For example, in the case where an angiogram reveals an area of severe arterial narrowing, the doctor may immediately perform an angioplasty or place a stent in the patient’s affected blood vessel.
The degree of detail displayed by catheter angiography may not be available with non-invasive procedures.
There is always a slight chance of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation. However, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs the risk.
Patients with a history of allergy to x-ray contrast material may be advised to take special medication for 24 hours before having an angiogram to lessen the risk of allergic reaction.
Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they may be pregnant, and nursing mothers should wait for 24 hours after any procedure using contrast dye before resuming breast-feeding.
The risk of serious allergic reaction to contrast materials that contain iodine is extremely rare, and our radiology department is well-equipped to deal with them.
Patients with diabetes or kidney disease may experience kidney injury when the contrast dye is eliminated through the urine.
Complications from angiograms are extremely rare; millions of patients undergo the procedure annually with little more than odd sensations or slight discomfort.
Why Choose Hospital Angles for Coronary Angiogram Procedure?
An angiogram in a U.S. hospital or cardiology clinic can cost upwards of $12,000 while the procedure at Angeles Health is just $3000, including travel. Cost should of course not be the only consideration when making a decision about your health, although Angeles Health offers the support and expertise of a skilled multidisciplinary team of specialists who help patients understand and manage all of the challenges they face in reclaiming optimum health. Our facilities and equipment represent healthcare standards that are second to none.
Angiogram patients at Angeles Health receive the expert care of physicians, nurses and x-ray technicians who are dedicated to making the medical travel experience as safe, supported and secure as possible. Everyone at Angeles Health works to see that patients receive the treatment they need for a successful procedure and that they leave us fully prepared to achieve their long-term health goals.
What’s Included in your Coronary Angiogram Travel Package?
All angiogram patients at Angeles Health are assigned a Patient Facilitator, who handles all arrangements free of charge. Your Patient Facilitator will provide you with an extensive itinerary that tells you exactly what to expect every step of the way on your medical travel trip.
- The Angiogram Package at Angeles Health includes:
- Outpatient Procedure
- All tests and examinations performed pre-treatment
- All medical and procedure costs: cardiologist, anesthesia, X-ray equipment and nursing care fees
- A dedicated Case Management team to guide you on your pre- and post-treatment experiences
- A consultation pre-treatment if needed
- Pick-up and return to airport for a seamless medical trip