Angiography

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

LET YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Any allergies you have, including allergies to shellfish or contrast dye.  

  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.  

  • Previous problems you or members of your family have had with the use of anesthetics.  

  • Any blood disorders you have.  

  • Previous surgeries you have had.

  • Any previous kidney problems or failure you have had. 

  • Medical conditions you have.  

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

Generally, angiography is a safe procedure. However, as with any procedure, complications can occur. Possible complications include:

  • Injury to the blood vessels, including rupture or bleeding.

  • Infection or bruising at the catheter site.

  • Allergic reaction to the dye or contrast used.

  • Kidney damage from the dye or contrast used.

  • Blood clots that can lead to a stroke or heart attack.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight on the night before the procedure, or as directed by your health care provider.  

  • Ask your health care provider if you may drink enough water to take any needed medicines the morning of the procedure.  

PROCEDURE

  • You may be given a medicine to help you relax (sedative) before and during the procedure. This medicine is given through an IV access tube that is inserted into one of your veins.  

  • The area where the catheter will be inserted will be washed and shaved. This is usually done in the groin but may be done in the fold of your arm (near your elbow) or in the wrist.

  • A medicine will be given to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted (local anesthetic).

  • The catheter will be inserted with a guide wire into an artery. The catheter is guided by using a type of X-ray (fluoroscopy) to the blood vessel being examined.  

  • Dye is then injected into the catheter, and X-rays are taken. The dye helps to show where any narrowing or blockages are located.  

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • If the procedure is done through the leg, you will be kept in bed lying flat for several hours. You will be instructed to not bend or cross your legs.

  • The insertion site will be checked frequently.

  • The pulse in your feet or wrist will be checked frequently.

  • Additional blood tests, X-rays, and electrocardiography may be done.  

  • You may need to stay in the hospital overnight for observation.