Angiography is an X-ray exam of the arteries and veins to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems.
An interventional radiologist performs this X-ray procedure, which is also called and angiogram. During the angiogram, the doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) in to the artery through a small incision about the size of the tip of a pencil. A contrast agent (X-ray dye) is injected to make the blood vessels visible on the X-ray monitor. This dye is observed moving through the vessels on a television monitor that the doctor sees in real time.
One of the most common reasons for angiograms is to see if there is a blockage or narrowing in a blood vessel that may interfere with the normal flow of blood through the body. In many cases, the interventional radiologist can treat a blocked blood vessel without surgery at the same time the angiogram is performed. Interventional radiologists treat blockages with techniques called Angioplasty and Arterial and Venous Thrombolysis.
There are many types of angiograms, below is a list of the more common areas studied. Regardless of the actual vessels being studied, most angiograms are performed in a similar fashion.
- Renal Arteriogram (study of the blood vessels to the kidneys)
- Aortofemoral Arteriogram (arteries of the pelvis and legs)
- Carotid Arteriogram (arteries in the neck that supply the brain)
- Cerebral Arteriogram (arteries in the brain)
- Mesenteric Arteriogram (arteries supplying stomach, bowel loops, liver)
- Pulmonary Arteriogram (arteries that supply the lungs)
Preparing for Your Procedure
Before Your Procedure
Your referring doctor's office will schedule your appointment with us and provide you with all information related to preparation and expectations for your specific condition and procedure.
You will need to arrange for a family member or friend to take you home after your procedure. Please note that you will not be allowed to drive yourself or to take a bus. You must have someone escort you by car or taxi.
When You Arrive For Your Procedure
Please wear comfortable clothes and leave all valuables at home. When you come to the main hospital you may go directly to the Surgical Day Care Unit on the basement level of the Dahod Building. This is where you will check in and prepare for your procedure. They will take you to the Interventional Radiology suite. If your procedure is a day procedure, not requiring an overnight stay, you will be brought back to this area when your procedure is complete. Your companion is encouraged to accompany you to check-in and may wait in the waiting area during your procedure.
After Your Procedure
Your recovery will depend on the type of procedure you have. Your doctor will be able to tell you what to expect after the procedure for your path to recovery. If your procedure does not require an overnight stay, you will likely return to the Surgical Day Care Unit. If you will be admitted to a patient care unit, your belongings will be transferred to your room for you and your companion will be notified.