How To Prepare
Before an angiogram, tell your doctor
- Are or might be pregnant.
breast-feeding. Use formula (throw out your breast milk) for 1 to 2 days after
the angiogram until the dye has passed from your body. This generally takes 24
- Are allergic to iodine dye used in the
- Have ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) from any substance, such as the venom
from a bee sting or from eating shellfish.
- Are allergic to any
- Have any bleeding problems or are taking blood-thinning
- Have a history of kidney problems or
diabetes, especially if you take metformin (such as
Glucophage) to control your diabetes. The dye used during an angiogram can
cause kidney damage in people who have poor kidney function.
Do not eat or drink for 4 to 8 hours before the angiogram.
You may be asked to not take aspirin, aspirin products, or blood thinners for
several days before the test and for 1 day after the test. If you take these
medicines, talk with your doctor.
An angiogram can be done as an
inpatient or outpatient. If you are an outpatient, you will stay in a recovery
room for several hours before you go home. You may want to bring something to
do or read to pass the time. Arrange to have someone take you home because you
may get a
sedative before the test. If you stay overnight in the
hospital, you will probably go home the next day.
The test may
take several hours, so you will empty your bladder just before it
Also before the angiogram you may have other blood tests,
such as blood clotting (coagulation) studies, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and
You will be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.
your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its
risks, how it will be done, or what the results will 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
An angiogram can be done by different types of doctors, including a
radiologist, cardiologist, or surgeon. Your doctor may be helped by a radiology technologist or a nurse.
You will need to
take off any jewelry. You may need to take off all or most of your clothes. You
will be given a gown to wear during the test.
During the test
You will likely have
intravenous (IV) line in a vein in your arm so your
doctor can give you medicine or fluids if needed. A device called a pulse
oximeter, which measures oxygen levels in your blood, may be clipped to your
finger or ear. Small discs (electrodes) are placed on your arms, chest, or legs
to record your heart rate and rhythm.