What is an angiogram?
The following is important information which should be read before giving consent to have an Angiogram (Arteriogram). Your physician will give you more detailed information regarding your specific procedure.
Angiography is a procedure performed to evaluate the condition of your blood vessels. The area of concern may be the brain, neck, lungs, kidneys, heart, abdomen, arms or legs. This study shows if artery disease (“hardening of the arteries”), aneurysm, or blood clots are causing blockage in an artery. The results help your physician determine the most effective treatment.
At the time of the procedure, you will be given medication for sedation and be monitored by a nurse. Your heart function and breathing will be carefully watched. The procedure involves numbing the skin and deeper tissues in the groin area. Before this is done the area is shaved and cleaned to prevent infection. You are covered with sterile drapes. After the area is numb by a local anesthetic, the physician inserts a special needle into the femoral artery which is located in the groin. A thin guide wire is inserted through the needle and into the artery. The needle is then removed. A small catheter (tube) is threaded over the wire. You will not feel the wire or the catheter inside your body, however you may feel mild pressure at the insertion site. The catheter is then maneuvered to the area of concern.
A contrast medium (x-ray dye) is then injected through the catheter and x-rays are taken. You will be asked to lie very still during this time. You may also be asked to hold your breath.
Once all the x-rays have been taken, the physician will remove the catheter and apply pressure to the insertion site for 10-15 minutes. This will help prevent bleeding. A pressure bandage will be taped over the puncture site. During this time a nurse will check your groin frequently for signs of bleeding. We may also place a small suture to prevent bleeding. If a suture is placed, you may be able to move earlier than 4-6 hours. In selected cases, at the discretion of your doctor, a special device may be used which will permit you to ambulate after one hour.