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Part of Our Comprehensive Cardiovascular Services

Angiography is just one of the many specialized cardiology services offered at St. Francis. Angiography, also called an angiogram, is a diagnostic tool during which a contrast dye is injected through a catheter into the heart. This enables an image of the coronary arteries to be displayed on a monitor. These images reveal the location and approximate size of any blockages that are found, and the pumping ability of the heart can also be obtained. Depending on the reason for this procedure, you may have a second catheter inserted to record pressures in the heart's chambers and to obtain blood samples.

This procedure can help to detect abnormalities in the heart’s pumping function, blockage of the coronary arteries, valve disorders and congenital heart disease.

If your angiography shows Coronary Artery Disease, your cardiologist may then perform a Non-Surgical Coronary Intervention to remove the obstruction from the arteries which will then replenish the blood flow to the heart.

There are several types of Non-Surgical Coronary Intervention procedures:

Angioplasty — During an angioplasty, a catheter is guided directly to the blocked vessel, and a tiny, deflated balloon is passed through the catheter to the site of the obstruction. The balloon is inflated to compress the plaque against the walls of the artery, flattening it out so that blood can once again flow without obstruction.

Stent Implantation — A coronary stent is an expandable mesh tube (about one-half inch long) that is placed in an artery to maintain the free flow of blood through the vessel. The mesh-like tube is inserted (while collapsed) into the artery and then expanded against the coronary artery walls.

These procedures are performed in the Cardiac Catherization suite.

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