5 Tips on How to Prepare for an Angiogram

Blog Post
By South Valley Vascular
March 25, 2021

Blood vessels are a system of tubes that send blood throughout your body. The pulmonary vessels send blood from the right ventricle to the lungs and back to the left atrium. The systemic vessels carry blood from the left ventricle to body tissue and return to the right atrium. 

There are three types of blood vessels: arteries, capillaries, and veins. These elaborate systems work together to send oxygenated blood to different parts of the body. Your vascular health is important. 

An angiogram helps doctors determine if there is damage or narrowing of these vessels because, while the vascular disease itself is not fatal, the underlying cause can be. 

What Is an Angiogram? 

An angiogram, or arteriogram, is a series of X-rays taken of the arteries after an injection of contrast dye. This makes the blood vessels visible on the X-ray. After contrast is injected into an artery, the physician can examine the vessels for any unusual narrowing or blockages. 

The procedure is used to screen different organs like the brain, heart, arms, and legs. Doctors can detect blood clots, weakened blood vessels, and plaque using this method. 

Additionally, angiogram procedures can show doctors if your arteries have narrowed, where they are narrowed, and by how much. This will help the doctor make an accurate assessment and assign an effective treatment.

For patients, there are several things you need to do before having this procedure. Below, we have listed five tips for preparing yourself for your angiogram screening. 

Get Your Blood Work and EKG Done 

First, you will need to have blood work done before the procedure. Blood work helps diagnose patients and evaluate organs such as the kidneys, liver, thyroid, and heart. This will help doctors diagnose you and determine the best treatment options for your condition. This type of screening is also used to detect: 

● Heart attacks 

● Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) 

● Heart failure 

 

Additionally, you will need an Electrocardiogram (EKG). An EKG shows how fast your heart is beating, if you have an abnormal heart rhythm, and the strength and timing of the electrical impulses passing through each part of your heart.

EKGs will also check for the following: 

● Abnormal heart rhythm 

● Blocked or narrowed arteries in your heart 

● Previous heart attacks 

● Heart disease treatments 

Medications 

Typically, you should continue to take your prescribed medications. However, in some cases, you may need to consult your doctor. If you are being treated for diabetes with Glucophage, Glucovance, or Avandamet, you must not take these for two days after the examination. 

You will need to have a blood test to check your kidney function before retaking your medications. If you use insulin, consult with your doctor on the dosage for the day of the examination. Also, bring all your medications with you.

Inform Your Surgery Scheduler of Any Allergies 

You should let your doctor know if you are allergic to contrast oriodine. Then, coordinate with your surgery scheduler so they can make different arrangements. You will also need to let an interventional radiologist know so they are prepared for your arrival. This may include signing a consent form. 

Do Not Eat or Drink Past Midnight 

Angiograms are performed using anesthesia. Patients should limit food and drink on the day of surgery. Anesthesia stops your body’s reflexes. If you have eaten or drank, you may risk vomiting or bringing food into your throat. 

Wear Loose, Comfortable Clothing 

Angiograms are invasive tests. Therefore, you will want to be comfortable afterward. Patients should bring loose-fitting clothing to change into after their surgery. The recovery time should only take a day or two, but you should plan to have some injection site pain. 

 

Our board-certified vascular surgeons are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the vascular system. We have served the South Valley for over 10 years and offer patient-centered care and personalized treatments to improve your quality of life. Our three offices are available to serve you in Visalia, Porterville, and Hanford, California. Contact us here for more information. You may also use the numbers listed below: 

● Visalia (559)625-4118 

● Hanford (559)825-6204 

● Porterville (559)788-1022 

● Tulare (559)625-4118 

● Fresno (559)746-9605