Angiogram vs Angioplasty
Angiograms and Angioplasty are defined when you break down the words into their respective suffixes and prefixes. The prefix ‘angio’ relates to a blood vessel or lymph vessel. The suffix ‘gram’ is the analysis or recording of something, and ‘plasty’ is the repair and restoration of something. When the words are placed together the definition of angiogram is the analysis or recording of the blood vessels, and angioplasty is the repair and restoration of blood vessels. Angiograms are done with an x-ray machine that is able to take pictures of vessels in the arms, legs, chest, or head, to ensure that flow of blood is not obstructed. An angioplasty is the process of opening any obstructed vessels with a balloon catheter, which is inflated to reopen the blocked vessel.
Angiograms are used to view potentially damaged vessels or organs, show blood flow to possible tumors, and to search for the sources of internal bleeding. Angiograms should not be conducted on pregnant women, anyone allergic to iodine, has asthma, kidney issues, or diabetes. Angioplasty is not considered the proper treatment for someone who is suffering from multiple blocked vessels or arteries; instead doctors prefer to use open heart surgery. People who have suffered minor strokes and heart attacks are prime candidates for both procedures to be done.
The angiograms are performed by placing a catheter in an artery or vein to be reviewed. An iodine dye is injected into the artery, which allows an x-ray to view the exact site of any blockage or tear in an artery. The results from angiograms can be viewed on traditional x-ray films, and with new technology they can also be viewed as digital pictures. Angioplasty is done with a catheter by entering it through the skin and into an artery in the general location of the blockage. At the end of the catheter is a small balloon which is inflated to stretch the artery back to its original size and push the blockage through. After the procedure is completed another angiogram is done to ensure that the blockage is cleared and that there are no other problems to address. Follow up appointments are needed to ensure the artery does not become blocked further down from the same fat that made the first one.
While the two procedures are similar in helping arterial and vessel blockages, they are different in what they do. An angiogram is finding the source of the problem, and an angioplasty is repairing and restoring the problem.
1. Angiograms are the medical recording and analysis of a potential blood vessel which is not working properly. Angioplasty is the process of unblocking a clogged or blocked blood vessel or artery.
2. Angiograms are performed with a specialized x-ray machine and iodine, and an angioplasty is done with a balloon catheter.
3. Both procedures use a catheter to reach the site of any problem, however one injects iodine and the other has a balloon on the end.