Arteriogram or Angiogram


An Arteriogram or Angiogram is an x-ray examination of the inside of your blood vessels or arteries. During your Arteriogram or Angiogram, we’ll place a small tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your groin or arm, inject x-ray dye or contrast into the catheter, and take pictures of the blood vessels of interest. A specially trained doctor, known as an interventional radiologist, will perform this procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an Arteriogram or Angiogram?
You may have symptoms that suggest a narrowing or blockage of a blood vessel.

You may have an area of a blood vessel that has ballooned out. This is called an aneurysm.

You may have malformation of blood vessels or problems that are not able to be detected by other tests.

An Arteriogram or Angiogram is sometimes used to provide a roadmap of your blood vessels, so that your doctor can plan the best type of treatment for you.
How do I prepare for an Arteriogram or Angiogram?
You should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure.

Tell your doctor if you have had any kidney problems or reactions to x-ray dye or contrast. If so, your doctor may want to prescribe medicine for you to take before your procedure.

Ask your doctor about taking your regular medications prior to your Arteriogram or Angiogram, especially Coumadin. Your doctor may want to stop your Coumadin for a few days prior to your procedure. Generally, your medications may be taken with a little sip of water. Please bring all medications you are currently taking with you on the day of your exam.

If you are a diabetic, consult your doctor about your diabetes medications.

Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you until the next day. You will not be able to drive, leave by yourself, or take a cab home without a companion.

Please notify your physician if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.

On the day of your Arteriogram or Angiogram, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and leave your jewelry and valuables at home if possible.
What happens before an Arteriogram or Angiogram?

You’ll check in with our receptionist and be asked to complete some paperwork. Please bring your insurance cards and a list of your medications.

A nurse and your interventional radiologist will talk to you about the procedure in detail. They will answer any questions you have and ask you to sign a consent form.

Then you’ll put on a hospital gown and the nurse will start an IV to give you fluids and medications. You may also need lab or blood work done before the procedure.

Our staff will show your family or companion(s) to our comfortable waiting room for the duration of your appointment.

What happens during the Arteriogram or Angiogram?
We’ll take you into our procedure room and place you on the x-ray table.

We’ll assess where to place the catheter for the procedure, then shave, clean and drape the area.

We’ll numb the area with a local anesthetic, make a small nick in the skin, and insert a small tube called a catheter into the blood vessel.

The interventional radiologist will guide the catheter to the blood vessels of interest. When the catheter is in the correct position, your care team will inject the x-ray dye or contrast through the catheter while the x-ray pictures are being taken.
What happens after the Arteriogram or Angiogram?
After the Arteriogram or Angiogram is complete, we’ll remove the catheter and apply manual pressure to the area for 15-20 minutes or until the bleeding stops. We’ll apply a dressing to the site and take you to the recovery room. We’ll monitor your condition for 2-4 hours until you are ready to be discharged.

The staff will review discharge instructions with you and give you a copy of those instructions to take home.

Your family or companion will then drive you home and stay with you overnight.

The following day, you may resume your normal diet and medication schedule, unless otherwise directed. Ask your physician about exercising or working before you resume your normal routine.

We’ll send a report of your Arteriogram or Angiogram to your primary care physician and his or her office will follow up with results and a forward care plan.