Angiograms, swine flu and lipoma

I need to go for a coronary angiogram.

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Can you tell me more about this procedure?

A coronary angiogram is a type of X-ray used to examine the arteries supplying blood to your heart muscle.

It is considered to be the 'gold standard' method of diagnosing coronary artery disease (conditions that affect the arteries surrounding the heart).

During the procedure a long, flexible tube called a catheter will be inserted into a blood vessel in either your groin or arm.

The tip of the catheter will then be fed up to your heart and coronary arteries.

Special dye will then be injected through the fine catheter into your coronary arteries and X-ray images will be taken.

The images created during angiography are called angiograms.

These images will be used to identify narrowing or blockage of the arteries that may be responsible for your symptoms.

This test is also sometimes required to reach a diagnosis for patients with heart valve and muscle disease.

I recently read that some people had been admitted to hospital with Swine Flu. Can you tell me what it is?

Swine flu is the common name for a relatively new strain of flu that caused a pandemic in 2009-10. It is also referred to as H1N1 flu.

The symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to other types of seasonal flu.

The incubation period can be up to seven days, but it's most likely to be between two and five. Most people recover within a week.

The symptoms are similar to other types of seasonal flu.

People with H1N1 flu typically have a fever or high temperature (over 38C or 100.4F).

They may also have aching muscles, sore throat or a dry cough. Other symptoms can include tiredness, headache, runny nose, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and diarrhoea or vomiting.

For most people, H1N1 flu is a mild illness.

However, some groups of people have a higher risk of serious illness or complications if they catch flu.

WHAT IS... A LIPOMA?

A lipoma is a soft, fatty lump that grows under the skin. It is harmless and can usually be left alone.

Lipomas can occur on any area of skin where there are fat cells, but are usually seen on the shoulders, neck, chest, arms and back. They range from the size of a pea to a few centimetres across, and they grow very slowly.

About 1 in 100 people develop a lipoma, so they are fairly common.

You can usually tell if a bump is a lipoma by pressing it. It should feel smooth and soft, like rubber or dough, and may move about under the skin.

If you are unsure whether it is a lipoma or you are worried it could be something more serious, see your GP.

Health

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