Angiogram vs Angioplasty: What’s the Difference?

Angiogram vs Angioplasty
Angiogram vs Angioplasty

When identifying and treating blockages and other cardiac problems, the angioplasty and angiography are both helpful procedures. Both are minimally invasive treatments carried out as outpatients.

Your doctor could prescribe testing or therapy in a catheterization lab if you feel pain or tightness in your chest.

You might experience an angioplasty or an angiography. Despite having almost the same name, these operations are not the same.

Learn more about these treatments, when they're required, and what to anticipate both during the procedure and your convalescence.

Are angiogram and angioplasty the same?

An angiography is a diagnostic procedure that uses X-rays, CT, or MRI scans to display blood flow in your blood vessels. Your coronary arteries can be seen by medical specialists during a coronary angiography.

In contrast, angioplasty is a medical treatment wherein medical personnel address blockages and narrowing in an artery in your heart by inserting balloons or stents.

The methods used to carry out the two processes are similar.

A catheter is a thin tube used during an angiography. A medical practitioner will insert the catheter into an artery that supplies your heart through your arm or groyne. Then, using X-ray technology, they will inject contrast dye through the catheter to help take pictures of your heart's blood veins.

A catheter is also inserted through an artery that leads to your heart during an angioplasty. However, a medical expert utilises the catheter to insert a balloon or stent at the blockage site in place of taking pictures. To ensure that the blockage does not obstruct blood flow to your heart, the gadget flattens it against the arterial wall once it is implanted.

An angioplasty could result from an angiography. In these situations, medical practitioners assess artery blockages using angiography as a diagnostic technique before angioplasty is used to treat them.

Do you need an angiogram before angioplasty?

Indeed. To see your heart's arteries, your doctor will prescribe an angiography. They will use it to collect photos that indicate the location of any blockages in your arteries.

One course of treatment is angioplasty if blockages are discovered.

In fact, within the same appointment, your angiography might lead to an angioplasty.

Does angioplasty always require a heart stent?

Not every time. A balloon or stent can be used to finish an angioplasty. The balloon is slender and compact. It is positioned and then gradually inflated to remove the obstruction.

Stents are now used in more angioplasty procedures nowadays. A short tube composed of wire mesh is called a stent. It is put into the artery and acts as a support structure to keep the artery open and permit the best possible blood flow.

In case of a serious blockage, your physician might suggest coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

Can an angiogram clear blockages in your heart?

An angiography is a diagnostic imaging technique used by physicians to identify blockages. It is not a way to address those obstructions.

Your doctor might perform an angioplasty to treat any blockages with a balloon or stent if your angiography reveals any. It is possible to complete these two treatments in one visit.

If a blockage does not restrict blood flow to your heart, your physician may recommend one of the following therapies instead of angioplasty:
  • attempting lifestyle measures including diet and exercise regimen adjustments
  • using prescription drugs to reduce cholesterol
  • using drugs to lower your blood pressure
  • stopping smoking, if you smoke

How serious are these procedures?

An angioplasty and an angiography are both carried out in a heart catheterization laboratory. Since they are outpatient operations, there is little to no recovery time and they are minimally invasive.


30 to 50 minutes pass during an angiography. In addition to other fluids and drugs, your care team will administer an intravenous (IV) medication to you to lightly sedate you. The location (arm or groyne) where the catheter will be put into your artery will also be made numb by them.

A medical practitioner will inject contrast fluid during the process to aid with picture collection. During the process, your doctor could urge you to hold your breath or cough. Your doctor may or may not advise getting an angioplasty or another treatment after reviewing the pictures.

If an angioplasty is required, medical personnel will utilise the catheter to put a stent or balloon into the damaged artery. The duration of an angioplasty might range from 30 minutes to two hours.

You might feel brief discomfort during some operations, such as:
  • pressure at the time of catheter insertion
  • the need to urinate
  • warmth from the fluids
  • chest pain
  • nausea


In case the catheter was placed via your groyne, your physician will apply sutures using a suture device. Following this treatment, you should typically recover for a while. During this time, your healthcare team will monitor you for any bleeding or discomfort in your chest. This extra step is usually not required for procedures that go through your arm.

For additional monitoring, your doctor could request that you remain in the hospital.

To avoid blood clots, your doctor may prescribe baby aspirin or another blood-thinning drug.

They could also advise you to take it easy and stay away from strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting, for a couple of days.

Life expectancy afterward

Your life expectancy won't necessarily be impacted by an angioplasty or angiography. However, there are hazards associated with the operations, such as bleeding, stroke, and heart attack.

Once inserted, stents cannot be removed. Occasionally, the impacted region may re-narrow (a condition known as restenosis), necessitating the use of a new stent.

The lengthening or obstacles in your life may be related to the underlying problems. Consult your doctor about any further therapies that could be required to avoid problems like a heart attack, such as medication and lifestyle modifications.


Are angiogram and angioplasty the same?

Angiography is a diagnostic procedure that employs X-rays to check for blockages or narrowing in the coronary arteries, which feed blood to the heart. The process that expands the clogged artery is called an angioplasty. If you don't see playback starting right away, try restarting your device.

Does an angiogram remove blockage?

Angioplasty is a procedure that may be used during angiography to correct narrowed coronary arteries. To clear the obstruction, a specialised catheter is inserted into the coronary arteries and through the blood vessels. A bypass procedure is an additional surgical option for severely constricted coronary arteries.

Is the angiogram and angioplasty done on the same day?

To open and maintain the opening in your artery, your physician might do an angioplasty and implant a stent. They can perform this during the angiography process. For some, an additional treatment on a different day is necessary. A bypass procedure that opens up the blocked area to blood flow can be suggested by your physician.


Angiograms are used by medical professionals to identify conditions that can be resolved with medication, lifestyle changes, surgery, or angioplasty.

You can talk to your doctor about the potential need for either of these treatments as well as what they entail. Treating cardiac blockages as soon as possible will help avoid potentially fatal consequences.

Post a Comment