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A venogram is an X-ray test that takes pictures of blood flow through the veins in a certain area of the body.

During a venogram, a special dye (contrast material) is put into your veins so they can be seen clearly on an X-ray picture. A venogram looks at the condition of your veins and the valves in your veins.

A venogram can show the veins in your legs, pelvis, or arm; the veins leading to the heart; or the veins leaving your kidneys.

See pictures of normal blood flow camera.gif and blood flow blocked by a blood clot (thrombus) camera.gif.

Why It Is Done

Venography might be done to:

  • Check the blood flow in veins.
  • Find the right placement in blood vessels for medical devices such as filters.

How To Prepare

Do not eat for 4 hours before a venogram. You may drink only clear fluids for 4 hours before the test.

Before a venogram, tell your doctor if you:

You will be asked to sign a consent form for this test. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

How It Is Done

A venogram usually is done in a hospital X-ray department by a radiologist and an X-ray technologist. A nurse may also be present.

Take off all jewelry and metal objects before the test. You will need to take off all or most of your clothes. You will be given a gown to use during the test. You may be asked to urinate just before the test begins.

You will lie on an X-ray table. A tilting X-ray table is usually used when studying the legs. Safety straps will help you lie still if the table is tilted.

For a leg venogram, you will be asked to relax the leg and keep it still during the X-rays. An elastic band will be put around your leg or ankle to make the veins of the foot fill with blood. The dye will be put in a vein (IV) on the top of your foot.

If the veins in your pelvis are studied, the dye may be placed in a vein in your groin. For an arm venogram, the dye will be put into a vein on the top of your hand or in your arm.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 28, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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