What will happen?
After the hospital admission, you will be brought to the Interventional Radiology Suite where the radiologist and radiographer will explain the procedure and answer your questions. The study usually takes 60 to 90 minutes. After completion, you will be monitored overnight for possible complications. Some patients may be discharged after 6 hours of observation.
Do I need any test before the procedure?
You will be asked to have following blood tests:
Urea & electrolytes – to assess if your kidneys will tolerate contrast.
PI/PTT/Platelets – to assess the risk of post procedural bleeding.
You should discuss any allergy history (particularly to Iodine) with the radiologist prior to booking an angiogram.
The angiography procedure:
You will have a drip placed in the arm for vascular access. No sedation is usually required. Under ultrasound guidance and local anaesthetic, a small incision will be made in your groin and a small soft tube (catheter) will be introduced into the vessel. In rare occasions the radiologist may decide to puncture the artery in your arm. Once the tube is in desired place, Iodinated contrast (X ray dye) will be injected through it in order to explore and image the necessary vessels. The puncture site in the groin will be compressed for 10-15 minutes to control bleeding.
What will I feel? Does it hurt?
You will feel a bee sting when the doctor numbs the entry site. When contrast is administered, you may have a warm sensation for 2-3 seconds. Except for communicating with the doctor, most patients are unaware that the procedure is taking place.
What are the risks?
Bleeding at the puncture site happens seldom and is usually minimal. Delayed bleeding is very uncommon but is the major reason for post procedural observation.
Cold, numb, painful limb due to punctured artery blockage happens extremely rarely require emergency operation to reopen the vessel.
Allergic reaction to X ray contrast is also very rare (moderate to serious reactions occur in 1/50.000 – 150.000 people). You should mention any allergy history to the radiologist in order to organize appropriate anti-allergic regime.
When will I get my results?
The radiologist will be able to talk to you after the procedure, but all the relevant details will only be available at your official appointment with referring doctor.
When will I resume my normal activities?
If no complications occur, you will be able to get back to your normal activity the next day. It is advisable not to lift any heavy object for a few days and to take showers instead of a bath.