Angiography allows your doctor to assess the flow of blood through the arteries. Under X-ray visualization, contrast (X-ray dye) is injected and images are taken of the arteries. As the contrast is injected, pictures are recorded and viewed on a television monitor.

Cardiac catheterization is performed by advancing catheters to chambers of the heart to measure blood flow and pressure ..

Your doctor will use catheters to obtain these X-ray pictures of your arteries and measure pressures within the heart chambers. During the procedure, you will see monitors nearby and may be able to see your electrocardiogram (EKG) and the pictures of your heart and arteries. The entire procedure may take one to two hours. In preparation for this procedure you will be required to have nothing by mouth for six hours. After the procedure is completed, recovery may take 4 to 6 hours. During this time you may be permitted to have something light to eat.

The Patient Resources section has instructions about preparation for cardiac catheterization, angiography and electrophysiology studies.