Peripheral, renal and mesenteric angiography

When plaque builds up in your arteries, it can narrow the blood vessels and cause problems due to inadequate blood flow to your organs. Angiography helps us diagnose artery disease and identify ways to fix those blockages. Peripheral, renal and mesentericangiography diagnose blockages in arteries that supply blood to the legs, the kidneys and the large and small intestines, respectively. Angiography can also be used to find bleeding vessels, or bleeding tumors (for example, bleeding fibroids), so that the bleeding can be stopped by plugging up the responsible artery.

Unless you area admitted to the hospital, you will typically meet with your doctor prior to having an angiogram so he or she can answer any questions you may have before the procedure. It’s important to tell your doctor (or the physician’s assistant) if you are taking any blood thinning agents like Coumadin, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, aspirin, or others. Your doctor will also ask you whether you have kidney disease or other conditions that may be important.

What happens during an angiogram?

You will have already discussed the treatment options with the physician doing the procedure.

Prior to your procedure, we’ll take you to a preparation area where our nurses will start an IV in your arm and give you any medication that may be required prior to your procedure. We may give you medicines to protect your kidneys, antibiotics to help prevent infection, and anti-nausea medications.

When it’s time to begin, we’ll take you to a special room that is similar to an operating room. We often use conscious sedation, or moderate anesthesia, during the procedure. In this case, you’ll remain slightly awake throughout the procedure. We will monitor your pulse, blood pressure, and your breathing throughout the procedure.

You will lie on your back on a table and we’ll clean the area where the catheter (a thin, hollow tube) will enter your body using a special solution to minimize infection. We’ll place sterile drapes over your body and an interventionlist will apply a local anesthetic so you don’t feel any pain.

Your interventionlist will make a small incision in your arm, groin,or upper thigh to insert the catheter. Then, we’ll use an iodine-based contrast material (dye) to make the blood vessels standout by taking special x-ray pictures or by looking at a special TV monitor (fluoroscopy). Your doctor may prescribe medications to open your blood vessels better, to help us get the best possibleimages, or give you blood thinners during the procedure, which canmake the procedure safer in certain situations.

At the end of the procedure, your interventionalist will withdraw the catheter and either apply pressure or place a special device in the blood vessel to stop the blood from leaking out. Finally, we’ll put a bandage over the incision.

After your procedure, your interventionalist will review the results of your angiogram with you and with your physician so he or she can discuss the next steps with you.