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The Queen's Medical Center

Imaging Services
Angiography—Frequently Asked Questions


 

What is Angiography?
Angiography is a series of X-ray pictures taken after injection of contrast material (dye) into arteries which makes the blood vessels visible. The radiologist can look for unusual narrowing of the artery, blockage or weakness in the arterial wall. This information is important in finding or treating the patient's condition properly.

The patient is taken into a room with specialized X-ray equipment. A thin, hollow catheter (tube) about the size of a pencil lead is used by the radiologist to select a blood vessel to inject the contrast material. During the time the contrast is injected, the patient may feel a rush of heat throughout their body for about 30 seconds or less. This is normal. Some patients also notice slight nausea but these feelings pass quickly. The patient will be able to watch the TV monitor and see the radiologist guiding the catheter into position. After the pictures have been developed, the radiologist can see if there are any blockages of the arteries. The angiogram usually lasts between 1-2 hours.

Prior to the procedure, the patient will be scheduled for a pre-op appointment. This appointment is to prepare the patient for the test, answer any questions, and to ensure all pertinent information has been completed prior to the procedure. This helps avoid delays on the day of the test and to educate the patient on what to expect. The Angiography Dept strives to perform the tests "on time", but emergencies may arise which may not allow the test to start on the scheduled time.

Patient Restrictions for Angiography/Interventional Procedures
There are some conditions that may limit the use of angiography/interventional procedures. The interventional radiologist will need to know if the following conditions apply to you:

  • Allergies, especially seafood
  • Taking blood thinners or aspirin
  • If patient will not be able to maintain their leg straight on the operative side and lie flat for about 4-6 hours post procedure.

Patients will not be able to drive after the test. Some one will need to drive the patient home after the procedure to ensure the patient's safety.

Procedure Preparation
Generally, patients may be asked to take minimal liquids prior to the procedure. Physicians may elect to restrict food and minimal fluids on the day of the test. You should ask your doctor:

  • Which medications you should hold prior to the procedure on the day of the test
  • Which medications to resume, and when to resume each medication after the procedure
  • Whether or not you should be taking your diabetes medications and how to adjust your dosage and diet on the day of the test
  • When to resume to your usual diet

Patients need to arrange for some one to drive them home after the test is completed.


Monday thru Friday:
8:00am to 5:00pm

 


808.691.4711

 


808.691.4097

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