What is an angiogram?
An angiogram is an X-ray test that uses dye and imaging to take pictures of the blood flow in an artery or a vein. An angiogram can be used to look at the arteries or veins in the head, arms, legs, chest, back, or belly. This test is done to look for problems in the arteries or veins.
An angiogram is done for many reasons. For example, you may have this test to find the source of bleeding, such as an ulcer. Or it may be done to look for blocked blood vessels in your lungs.
During an angiogram, the doctor will put a thin, flexible tube into a blood vessel in your groin or arm. This tube is called a catheter. The doctor guides the tube to the blood vessel that will be studied. Then a dye is injected through the tube to make the area easier to see. X-rays or pictures are taken of the area.
You may be given medicine to make you sleepy and comfortable during the test. You may or may not need to stay in the hospital overnight. You will stay in a room for at least a few hours to make sure the catheter site starts to heal.
How do you prepare for the procedure?
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
Preparing for the procedure
- Do not eat or drink for 6 to 8 hours before the angiogram.
- Be sure you have someone to take you home. Some medicines you'll get during the procedure will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
- Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
- If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your procedure. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
- Tell you doctor if you have an allergy to contrast (dye used for some X-rays).
- Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
- You may be asked to have bloodwork done before your procedure.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter A979 in the search box to learn more about "Angiogram: Before Your Procedure".