How to Prepare for an Angiogram Procedure

Blog Post
By South Valley Vascular
March 15, 2024

An angiogram is a type of X-ray designed to diagnose various health conditions. It analyzes the veins, arteries, and capillaries of a person's arms, legs, chest, back, belly, and head. The main purpose of an angiogram is to ensure that blood vessels are properly pumping blood throughout the body. 

This article will explain an angiogram procedure and how to prepare for one. Let’s take a closer look!

Why Do I Need An Angiogram Procedure?

An angiogram procedure is also known as a form of cardiac catheterization. This procedure is done by putting thin, flexible tubes (catheters) into the major blood vessels within the body. Once they are administered, a doctor will inject a dye into the tube. This makes it easier to see any damage on an X-ray.      

An angiogram helps doctors recognize potential damage, blockages, and narrowing of the blood vessels. When blood vessels aren’t working properly, they can cause various health complications. Some potential complications caused by blood vessel damage include:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Excessive bleeding issues
  • Heart rhythm issues (arrhythmias)
  • Damage to the kidneys
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Varies infections

What Is An Angiogram, and How Do I Prepare for It?

You may be wondering, “What is an angiogram, and how do I prepare for it?” Angiograms are considered to be a slightly invasive procedure due to the injection of contrast dye. It is important to properly prepare for it to optimize results and avoid unnecessary complications. 

Here are steps to take before your angiogram procedure:

  • Get blood work and an EKG (electrocardiogram). Before committing to an angiogram, receiving other testing is helpful. Blood work and EKGs help doctors understand the full scope of your physical condition. Blood work helps to analyze the heart, thyroid, liver, and kidneys, while an EKG focuses mainly on overall heart health.
  • Become familiar with the risks and benefits of an angiogram. Understanding what to expect will help put your mind at ease. 
  • Make sure your doctor knows all of the medications you take. Some medications can hurt results and potentially cause complications. In most cases, you can continue to take your medications. However, some medications, particularly for diabetes, should be paused for several days after the exam. 
  • Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to contrast dye. Your doctor needs to know since this dye is essential to the procedure.
  • Give your doctor access to your advanced care plan. Not everyone has an advanced care plan, but having one will help your doctor support you before, during, and after the procedure. 
  • On the day of the angiogram, avoid eating or drinking 6 to 8 hours prior. This ensures the accuracy of the test.
  • Be sure to have a friend or family member with you. With most medical procedures, having someone available to drive you to and from the doctor's office or hospital is important. 
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Loose-fitting clothing will help you adjust and feel relaxed after the procedure. 

Get the Support You Need At South Valley Vascular Today

Are you exhibiting troublesome health symptoms? Are you seeking a trusted, experienced medical professional? If so, South Valley Vascular is here for you!‘

At South Valley Vascular, our medical team will help diagnose and treat your health challenges. At South Valley Vascular, we will put together a treatment plan so you can get back to your life as soon as possible. Don’t wait until symptoms get worse. Turn to the experts at South Valley Vascular today!

Are you ready to get started? Contact us and set up an appointment today.