How It Is Done continued...
When the catheter is in place, the dye is
injected through it. You may be asked to take a breath and hold it for several
seconds. Several X-ray pictures will be taken one after another. These will be
available right away for your doctor to look at. You need to lie very still so
the pictures are clear. More pictures may be taken.
An angiogram takes 1 to 3 hours.
After the test
catheter is taken out after the angiogram, and pressure is put on the needle
site for 10 to 15 minutes to stop any bleeding. A small sandbag or clamp may be
put on the site to hold pressure. A bandage is put on the site. You will be
given pain medicine if you need it.
If the catheter was put in a
vessel in your arm, you should not have any blood taken from that arm or your
blood pressure measured in that arm for several days. You will rest in bed
after the test for several hours. If the catheter was placed in the groin area,
try to keep that leg straight for 8 hours. Your doctor will give you specific
instructions after the test. You can use an ice pack on the needle site to
relieve pain and swelling.
The place in your hands and feet where
your heartbeat (peripheral pulse) can be felt may be marked with a pen. Your
pulse may be checked before and after the angiogram.
How It Feels
You may feel a brief sting or pinch from
the numbing medicine. Most people do not have pain when the catheter is in the
You may feel pressure in the blood vessel as the
catheter is moved. Let your doctor know if you are having pain.
You will probably feel some warmth when the dye is put in. This feeling
lasts only a few seconds. For some people, the feeling of heat is strong and
for others it is very mild.
You may have a headache, flushing of
the face, or a salty or metallic taste in your mouth after the dye is used.
These feelings do not last long. Some people may feel sick to their stomachs or
may vomit, but this is not common.
After the test, you may have
some tenderness and bruising at the site where the catheter was
You can drink extra fluids to pass the dye from your
body unless your doctor has told you not to.