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Patient Instructions - Angiogram

Purpose of your procedure

An angiogram is a procedure to detect abnormalities in your blood vessels.

The pictures provide a road map of your vessels. Contrast dye is injected into the blood vessels while X-ray images are taken. Any blockages, narrowing, aneurysms (ballooning) or other abnormalities of the arteries are imaged. For example, a narrowed artery in the leg may cause pain when you walk; a narrowed kidney artery can cause high blood pressure and narrowed arteries to the brain may cause vision problems or weakness. These images will aid in the diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition.

Before your procedure

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight on the night before your angiogram.

  • You may take medications with a sip of water. Continue to take all your regular medications with the following exceptions: Coumadin must be stopped at least 3 days before your procedure.

  • If you are on insulin, your doctor should adjust your morning insulin dose the day of your test. If you are taking the oral anti-diabetic medicine Metformin (Glucophage or Glucovance), it will be discontinue for 48 hours following the procedure.

  • In addition, if you have an allergy to X-ray dye, please notify your physician as soon as possible. You may need to take special medications a day prior to the procedure.

During your procedure

  • An area of your groin will be shaved and cleaned.

  • You will be given a mild sedative and pain medication to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure.

  • The radiologist will numb the site, and a very small tube called a catheter will be inserted into the vessel.

  • A rapid sequence of X-rays is taken while the dye is injected into the vessel. Each time the contrast is injected you may experience a sensation of warmth.

  • Most routine procedures take about 1 and 1 ½ hours. If the angiogram reveals a narrowed vessel, a balloon angioplasty or stent placement may be performed at the same time.

  • When the procedure is completed, the catheter will be removed and pressure will be held on the entry site for 10-20 minutes in order to stop any bleeding.

After your procedure

  • Once the angiogram is completed, you will be on bedrest for 4-6 hours.

  • You will be allowed to eat and encouraged to drink plenty of fluids to flush the dye from your system.

  • During this time, the catheter insertion site will be watched closely and your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored.

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. To help ensure quality and safety, we ask that you do not bring young children with you to your appointments, as children are not allowed to accompany you during Imaging procedures. Staff is unable to monitor your child in your absence.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider. 

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