What is Angiography?

Angiography is an imaging technique used to visualize the inside of blood vessels.

How should I prepare for my angiography exam?

If contrast is needed for your exam, you will be asked to not eat or drink anything a few hours prior to the test.

What should I expect at my angiography exam?

You will be awake and alert, though you may be given medication to help you relax. Once the femoral artery area (groin area) is cleaned and numbed with local anesthetic, the radiologist will use a needle to gain access to the artery. A guide wire will be threaded through the needle and advanced to the target area using fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance.

Once the guide wire is in the correct position, the catheter is advanced down the wire and the wire removed. Because the area is numb, you shouldn't feel the guide wire or catheter. Contrast is injected through the catheter while images are made. It is important to remain motionless during imaging to ensure the best images possible. When the dye is administered, you may feel warm and also the urge to urinate.

When the radiologist is done imaging all necessary areas, the catheter will be removed and hand held pressure applied for about 15 minutes to stop bleeding. After the procedure, you will need to lie flat for 4-6 hours to allow the artery to heal. 

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