Angiography

Angiography is a procedure used to look at the blood vessels (arteries) which carry the blood to different parts of your body. In this procedure, dye is injected through a long, thin tube (catheter) into an artery, and X-rays are taken. The X-rays will show if there is a blockage or problem in a blood vessel.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

  • Let your caregiver know if you have had an allergy to dyes used in X-ray, or if you have ever had kidney problems or failure.

  • Do not eat or drink starting from midnight up to the time of the procedure, or as directed.

  • You may drink enough water to take your medicines the morning of the procedure if you were instructed to do so.

  • You should be at the hospital or outpatient facility where the procedure is to be done 60 minutes prior to the procedure or as directed.

PROCEDURE

  • You may be given a medicine to help you relax before and during the procedure through an intravenous access (IV) in your hand or arm.

  • A local anesthetic to make the area numb may be used before inserting the catheter.

  • You will be prepared for the procedure by washing and shaving the area where the catheter will be inserted. This is usually done in the groin but may be done in the fold of your arm by your elbow.

  • A specially trained doctor will insert the catheter with a guide wire into an artery. This is guided under a certain type of X-ray (fluoroscopy) to the blood vessel being examined.

  • Dye is then injected and X-rays are taken. These will show where any narrowing or blockages are located.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • You will be kept in bed for several hours.

  • The access site will be watched and you will be checked frequently.

  • Blood tests, other X-rays, and electrocardiography (EKG) may be done.

  • You may stay in the hospital overnight for observation.