Information Before Your CTCA

What to expect before your procedure

If you’re scheduled for a CT coronary angiogram (CTA), it’s natural to have questions and maybe even feel a bit anxious. Here’s a guide to help you understand what to expect before your procedure, designed to ease your concerns and ensure you feel well-prepared.

1. Scheduling and Preparation:

  • Appointment Confirmation: Once your appointment is scheduled, you’ll receive detailed instructions on how to prepare.
  • Medical History: You may need to provide your medical history, including any medications you’re currently taking, allergies, and previous surgeries. Be sure to mention if you have kidney issues, as the contrast dye used in the scan can affect kidney function.
  • Driving: We ask that you get someone to bring you to  and from the appointment. We have two near by cafes (On Poynt Cafe or Mortels) keep your driver entertained, or they are welcome to stay in our waiting room. 

2. Medication Guidelines:

  • Beta Blockers: In some cases, you may be prescribed beta blockers to slow your heart rate. This helps to produce clearer images during the scan.

3. Fasting Instructions:

  • No Food or Drink: Typically, you’ll be asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything for a few hours before the procedure. This helps to reduce the risk of nausea and ensures better imaging results.
  • Hydration: You might be instructed to drink plenty of water up to a certain time before your fast begins, which helps with the contrast dye administration and kidney function.

4. Allergies and Contrast Dye:

  • Allergy Check: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any known allergies.
  • Hydration: Staying well-hydrated before the test can help protect your kidneys from the contrast dye.

5. What to Wear:

  • Comfortable Clothing: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. You might be asked to change into a hospital gown for the procedure.
  • Remove Metal Objects: Leave jewellery and other metal objects at home, as these can interfere with the scan

What to expect on the day of your procedure

1. Arrival:

  • Check-In: Arrive at the imaging center a bit earlier than your appointment time to allow for check-in and any necessary paperwork.
  • Consent Form: You will need to sign a consent form before the procedure begins.

2. Pre-Procedure Preparations:

  • IV Line: A nurse or radiographer will place an IV line in your arm or hand to administer the contrast dye during the scan.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: ECG dots will be placed to monitor your heart rate throughout the procedure.

3. During the Procedure:

  • Positioning: You will lie down on the CT scanner table. The table will move through the scanner, which takes detailed images of your heart and blood vessels.
  • Breath-Holding: You’ll be asked to hold your breath for short periods during the scan to prevent motion artifacts in the images.

What to expect after your procedure

1. Post-Scan Instructions:

  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water to help flush the contrast dye from your system.
  • Observation: You may need to stay for a short period for observation to ensure you have no immediate reactions to the contrast dye.

2. Results:

  • Waiting Period: The images from your CTA will be reviewed by a radiologist and/or cardiologist, and your doctor will discuss the results with you, usually within a few days.
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