Before going ahead with an angiogram, angioplasty or stents, there are certain questions you need to ask. If in doubt, consider getting a second opinion.
Make sure you fully understand the procedure; don’t be afraid to ask questions. It's imperative your doctor explains the common risks and benefits, as well as those particular to you. Knowing all the relevant information is part of providing informed clinical consent.
Questions for your doctor
- Could my condition resolve without the procedure?
- Is surgery really needed at this time or can it wait?
- For the type of heart disease I have, is this the best intervention?
- Is there anything I can do to improve the outcome?
- What might the consequences be if I don’t have the procedure?
- What are the potential complications of the procedure in my case?
- What type of sedation and/or anaesthesia will I receive during the procedure?
- Will I stay overnight at the hospital afterwards?
- What should I expect during the weeks after the procedure?
- How long can I expect my stents to last?
- What medications will I have to take after the procedure, and for how long?
- What are the likely out-of-pocket medical expenses? (Your doctor should be able to give you a breakdown of any costs you'll incur – this is known as ‘Informed Financial Consent’)
- Will there be additional fees for assistants, the anaesthetist or for imaging? If so, what will they be? Learn more about the costs
- How should I prepare for the procedure?
- When should I last eat and drink?
- Which of my medications should I take on the day?
- What happens during and after the procedure?
- How many of these procedures do you perform each year?
- What percentage of patients are satisfied with the results of the angioplasty and stent procedures you perform?
- What is your complication rate for this procedure?
- What result can I expect?
- What limitations will there be to my activities? When can I drive, when can I go back to work, resume sports, sexual activities, etc.?
- Follow-up appointments (Write down any questions or concerns you want to discuss with your surgeon)
Tell your doctor if you have any skin lesions, sores, cuts, or a raised temperature, or kidney problems, as you may need to be treated before the procedure.
Most medication should be taken as usual, but some may interfere with the operation. Your doctor will let you know which medication (if any) you should stop. This could include:
- NSAIDs (including aspirin)
- Blood thinners (warfarin, heparin)
- Pain medication
Don’t forget to mention any homeopathic or herbal remedies you’re taking, as these can have interactions and side effects too.
Print out this page to take to your appointment with the cardiologist.
Minimise your out-of-pocket costs
Ask your specialists whether they'll participate in HCF's gap arrangements.