What is an angiogram?
An angiogram, or arteriogram, is a series of X-rays taken of the arteries after an injection of contrast dye, making the blood vessels visible. After contrast is injected into an artery, the physician can examine the vessels for any unusual narrowing or blockages.
How is the procedure performed?
Once you arrive at our office, you will check in with the receptionist at the front desk and they will inform the RN of your arrival. The nurse will take you into our procedure center to prepare you for the procedure. They will review your paperwork, take your vital signs, prepare your surgical site, and place an IV line in your arm. This IV allows us to give you fluids and medications during the procedure. You will then be taken into the procedure room where the physician will administer a local anesthetic that will numb the area where he will work. He will make a tiny puncture to reach the desired artery in your groin. Your physician will place a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into your artery. He will then inject you with contrast (dye), making the blood flowing inside the artery visible. Depending on what is found during your procedure, your physician may be able to treat your problem right away. He may be able to open a narrowing or blockage using either a balloon, a laser, or an orbital bur. He can also place a metal cage, called a stent, inside your artery to make sure it stays open. The entire procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours. You will need to stay 3 hours after the procedure to make sure that there is no bleeding and that there is no reaction to any medication that was given.
- You should have a responsible adult stay with you all day and all night.
- Do not do anything that requires balance, judgment, or coordination, such as driving a car or using household appliances.
- You may resume your normal diet.
- You may resume previous medications as ordered unless indicated differently by the physician.
- A responsible adult must drive you home (if you have transportation problems, please let the surgery scheduler know).
Preparing for an angiogram
- Make sure you get your blood work and EKG done in a timely manner.
- Provide the surgery scheduler with a list of all of your current medications.
- Inform your surgery scheduler of any allergies especially to contrast (dye), iodine, tape, latex, or shell fish.
- Do not eat or drink anything past midnight the night before your procedure.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes to the procedure center and leaving all valuables at home.