Recovering fully from an angiogram generally takes several days, reports Mayo Clinic. Some patients who have angiograms go home the same day, while others spend a day in the hospital. Barring complications, the patient avoids strenuous activity for several days and experiences mild pain at the site of the incision.
Doctors order angiograms to find and view the extent of any blockages present in coronary arteries or to check the results of bypass surgery, notes Mayo Clinic. The results are used to determine the best course of treatment for coronary patients. In some cases, the doctor performs angioplasty or stenting during the angiogram to minimize the number of future procedures.
Angiograms are mostly painless, reports the Society for Vascular Surgery. The healthcare professionals typically employ a mild sedative to relax the patient and a local anesthetic at the site of the incision. During the procedure, the patient follows instructions to move into various positions that allow the doctor to see blockages.