carotid angiogram is a test to look at the carotid arteries. These are the large blood vessels in your neck
that carry blood to your brain (carotid arteries). Your doctor will put a thin,
flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in your groin. In some cases, the
doctor puts the catheter in a blood vessel in your arm. You may
have this test to see if a carotid artery is narrowed or blocked.
test, your doctor moves the catheter through your blood vessels to
the carotid artery in your neck. Then he
or she puts dye into the catheter. This makes your carotid artery show up on a
screen so your doctor can see any blockage or narrowing of the artery.
You may go home the same day or the next day.
A carotid angiogram
is done in a catheterization laboratory ("cath lab"). The whole
procedure may take 1½ to 3 hours.
You lie on a table under a
large X-ray machine. You will get medicine through a tube (IV) in one of your
veins to help you relax and not feel pain. You will be awake during the
procedure, but you may not be able to remember much about it.
doctor will put some medicine into your arm or groin to numb the skin. You will
feel a small needle stick, like having a blood test. You may feel some pressure
when your doctor puts in the catheter, but you will not feel pain.
Your doctor will look at X-ray pictures on a monitor (like a TV set) to
move the catheter to your neck. You may feel warm or flushed for a short time
when your doctor puts dye into your artery. Then he or she may inflate a tiny
balloon at the end of the catheter. The balloon may stay inflated for a short time. Then it is deflated and removed. Your doctor also may use
the catheter to put a stent in the artery.
catheter will be removed. A nurse may press on a bandage on the opening to
prevent bleeding. After the test, you will be taken to a room where the
catheter site and your heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature will be
checked several times. If the catheter was put in your leg, you will have to
lie in bed with your leg straight for several hours. After that, you can move
around, but take care not to do a lot of activity for 1 to 2 days.
Make sure to drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you not to)
for several hours after the test. This will help flush the dye out of your
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and
call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your
test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of:
June 4, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology
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