Cardiovascular health is a subject of paramount importance. So when it comes to addressing issues within the blood vessels, two commonly used medical procedures often come into play — angioplasty and angiography.
Yes, both names may sound similar. However, these procedures serve distinct purposes and play crucial roles in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Read on as we discuss the key differences between angioplasty vs angiography.
Overview of Angiography and Angioplasty
Angiography and angioplasty are two medical procedures used to treat arterial conditions. Angiography is a medical procedure related to radiology that utilizes a contrast medium and X-rays to visualize blood vessels. It helps diagnose blockages or abnormalities in the heart and other organs.
Angioplasty, on the other hand, is a minimally invasive procedure commonly used to treat coronary artery disease. It involves inflating a tiny balloon inside a narrowed artery to open it up and restore blood flow. It is often used to treat blockages in the heart and is considered a more effective treatment than angiography.
Differences in Purpose
While they may seem similar, there is a distinct difference in the purpose of each procedure. Angioplasty is primarily performed to open narrowed or blocked vessels and restore blood flow. During this procedure, a catheter is placed in the artery and a small balloon is used to stretch the vessel.
On the other hand, angiography is used to both diagnose and evaluate the patient’s condition. In particular, the procedure gives physicians an insight into the condition of the vessels and helps them assess both the anatomy and the state of the artery walls. The doctor is then able to decide on the best course of treatment. That is whether it be a medical or surgical intervention.
Differences in Procedure
Angiography is a diagnostic procedure, where a contrast dye is injected into the artery while an X-ray is taken. This allows your heart specialists to diagnose any blockages or narrowing of the artery.
Angioplasty, on the other hand, is a procedure that treats the blocked or narrowed artery. Here, a guide wire and a tiny balloon are inserted into the artery. That is done before inflating the balloon to clear the blockage or narrow the vessel.
Even if both procedures are minimally invasive and can be done quickly, you should discuss your options with your doctor. That way, you can determine which one best suits your needs.
Differences in Cost-Effectiveness
Angiography is generally the costlier of the two procedures. This is because of the use of catheters and a spendy imaging system. The complexity of the procedure has to do with the amount of time spent on the procedure itself and the resources required.
On the other hand, Angioplasty is less costly compared to Angiography. This is because it employs simpler procedures and equipment. Although both procedures are effective in restoring heart health, Angioplasty is more cost-effective for patients.
Learning How to Differentiate Angioplasty vs Angiography
Angioplasty and angiography are two diagnostic and treatment options used in detecting and managing heart conditions. While comparing angioplasty vs angiography, you’ll learn that both are used to assess coronary artery blockages. If you feel you are at risk for a heart condition, it’s important to discuss your options with your medical provider.
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