Angiogram in Iran: All you need to know
Angiogram test as we know it today was invented in the early 70s and led to outstanding results in discovering the original cause of certain symptoms relating to the blood vessels. Now Iran, along with other pioneering countries, offers angiogram test using modern and tech-refined tools. Read on to find out more about angiography and why Iran can be the right destination for you.
What is angiogram test?
Angiogram or angiography, also known as arteriography, is a technique of imaging that uses X-ray to view blood vessels and identify any abnormality within the artery such as blockage, aneurysm, or narrowed artery. Often, angiography is performed with the assistance of a radiocontrast agent which is a sort of dye injected into the vascular system. The contrast material helps display the blood flow enabling the surgeon to detect any irregularity. During catheter angiography, the specialist might also use a catheter. That is a very thin tube which is inserted and threaded through the vessels to make way for the specialist to easily identify blocked or narrowed arteries.
The main advantage of catheter angiography over its less invasive alternatives like MRI or Echo is that the cardiologist can use the catheter that is already inside the artery and administrate the required treatment (such as angioplasty) almost immediately after the blockage is discovered.
Types of angiogram
Depending on which arteries the doctor aims to examine and what technique he or she intends to use, angiography types vary. While catheter angiography is the conventional method of identifying vascular abnormalities, there are also less invasive and more cost-effective angiography techniques such as MR angiogram and CT angiography. When consulting with a specialist, you should fully describe your symptoms so that they can provide you with the most appropriate solution. Try our free consultation service and learn more by asking our experts.
Angiogram for the heart (coronary angiography)
Coronary angiography refers to the most frequently performed angiogram test that involves examining coronary arteries (arteries of the heart). Coronary arteries are some of the most vital elements of our vascular system. When a blockage occurs in these arteries, it can hinder the blood flow triggering life-threatening heart conditions that could have been prevented by early diagnosis. With angiography test, a cardiologist can detect narrowed arteries and suggest necessary treatments as indicated.
Angiogram for the brain (cerebral angiography)
Cerebral angiography is carried out to provide an image of the brain’s blood vessels. During cerebral angiography, the cardiologist tries to move the catheter through the carotid artery (a large and vital artery in the neck). By doing so, they can spread the contrast material throughout the brain and identify possible blockage, aneurysm, or even brain tumor.
Magnetic Resonance Angiography, also called MRA, is a non-invasive type of angiogram that uses the same technique the MRI diagnostic tool does; it utilizes radio waves, a magnetic field, and a computer to visualize the blood vessels. During this method, the cardiologist can skip injecting contrast material (dye) into the blood flow, making it a suitable option for people who are allergic to the substance or are suffering from liver or kidney diseases.
Computed Tomography angiogram test is a procedure similar to CT scan except that a particular dye is also injected to visualize the blood vessels. Compared to techniques like MRI or ultrasound, CTA can give a more precise display of how the blood is flowing inside the vessels.
The purpose of angiography
Angiography is an effective technique for diagnosing abnormalities that are related to the vascular system. When certain symptoms occur, a cardiologist might suggest angiogram test to figure out the underlying cause. The common signs of coronary artery disease include:
- Chest pain (angina)
- Excessive sweating
Cerebral artery disease, on the other hand, can demonstrate symptoms that can often contribute to stroke. They include:
- Numbness or droopy appearance in the face especially on one side
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Dimming of the vision
- Severe headache
- Difficulty articulating words and loss of speech
When detecting such symptoms, the surgeon performs an angiogram test. In most cases, the symptoms indicate one of these common vascular diseases has occurred:
- Atherosclerosis: Aging, lack of adequate physical activity, and an unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to fat, cholesterol, and calcium buildup in the artery. Once these substances form a plaque, it can block blood flow to the heart or the brain. Consequently, heart condition or stroke may occur. Angiography helps diagnose the issue before it’s too late.
- Arterial Dissection: Injuries or trauma can cause an abnormal tear in the artery and lead to a blood clot. The condition is more common in the carotid and vertebral arteries and can end in a stroke.
- Aneurysm: An outward bulging of the artery might happen as a result of a weakened blood vessel wall. To diagnose the condition, most specialists use CT angiogram.
How is an angiogram performed?
Usually, the angiogram test is performed while you are sedated under local anesthesia. The cardiologist makes a small incision either to your arm or your groin at the location of the artery. Through this incision, he or she inserts the catheter and threads it all the way to the blood vessel that needs to be examined. Along with the catheter, a certain dye (contrast material) is injected into the bloodstream.
Together with X-ray imaging, the injected dye visualizes the blood flow in your vascular system. Thereby, making it possible for the cardiologist to pinpoint the location of any blockage or other abnormalities.
During the procedure, which will take less than a couple of hours, you are unlikely to feel any pain or other discomforts and should inform the medical team if you do so.
Angiography and Angioplasty
During the course of angiography, the specialist might discover an abnormality that could be addressed immediately. Often times, the abnormality is associated with a clogged or narrowed artery. In such cases, the condition can be treated using balloon angioplasty or stent placement. In other words, the medical care team can perform angiography and angioplasty at the same time.
Why choose Iran for your Angiography
The high quality of angiography test in Iran
In Iran, cardiology procedures are performed with the same quality found in some developed countries. Experienced Iranian cardiologists are trained in highly-credited universities. Every year, they perform thousands of heart tests, with angiography being the most frequently performed examination.
Iranian hospitals are also remarkable in terms of utilizing the latest technologies on par with those of countries such as the USA and Germany. The healthcare services in Iran are often compared with some of the most renowned countries. In fact, Iran is among the top 10 countries in the world in cardiology.
The cost of angiography in Iran
Screening tests are not usually covered by some insurance companies. As a result, some patients opt for medical tourism to cut down their expenses. While an angiogram can cost about $5000 in the USA, Iranian hospitals offer the same quality service while charging about only a fraction of that price. Contact us to get an updated price quote for angiography in Iran.
Preparing for angiography test
For a diagnosis test, angiography is a somehow invasive surgery. As a result, it is recommended to follow some basic surgical preparation tips. Stop smoking and drinking for at least a week before the surgery, refrain from blood-thinning medications, and do not eat or drink anything after midnight before the procedure.
Also, if you are breastfeeding, you should pump your milk in advance. The contrast material used during angiogram test will remain within your body’s vascular system for about 24 hours after the surgery and it is recommended not to breastfeed your baby during this period.
Angiogram recovery and aftercare
After the procedure, you might be able to leave in a few hours or be advised to spend the night in the hospital. The medical team will monitor your condition to make sure everything is as it should be. As you leave the hospital, you might be given certain aftercare instructions on how and when to shower, get back to work, or resume your daily activities. Some tips that can promote healing include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids to help flush the dye out of your body faster
- Avoiding strenuous activities for a few days after the procedure
- Pressing on the incision area to prevent bruising
- Not smoking or drinking alcohol since they can hinder healing
- Taking the prescribed medications as instructed
Angiography risks and complications
There are a few risks and complications associated with the angiogram test. Potential complications are mostly related to allergic reaction to the anesthetic or the contrast agent injected into the blood. Other less common risks include:
- Injury to the artery
- Arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythm)
- Heart attack
Whether the angiogram test is suggested by your doctor or you are experiencing symptoms that need professional diagnosis, Iran provides you with high-quality angiogram test, which also comes at a competitive price. The only thing you need to do is to fill out the form below and we will look into your case as soon as possible. You can also contact our healthcare experts now to get a free consultation.