What is an Angiography?

A carotid angiography is an outpatient procedure that helps find problems in blood vessels leading to your brain. These vessels include carotid arteries, which supply your brain with blood. The procedure makes a “map” of your blood vessels, which can show narrowing in your arteries. Narrowing can cause numbness, weakness, trouble with speech or changes in vision. Theses symptoms may be warning signs of a stroke.

A peripheral angiography is an outpatient procedure that helps find blood vessel problems in your lower body and legs. It makes a “map” of the arteries that carry blood through your body, and can show where blood flow may be blocked. Blockages can cause painful leg cramps while walking. They can also keep foot wounds from healing.

What Can You Expect During Your Angiography?

You may receive medicine through an IV line to relax you. You’ll also have an injection to numb the insertion site. A catheter (thin tube) will be inserted into an artery in your groin and the doctor will slide it to the appropriate artery. A contrast “dye” is injected into the catheter. X-ray images are taken as you lie still.

What Is a Peripheral Angioplasty?

A peripheral angioplasty is a procedure that helps open blockages in peripheral arteries. These vessels carry blood to your lower body and legs. A blockage forms when fatty deposits, called plaque, build up on artery walls. Angioplasty may allow your blood to flow better. This can help prevent severe leg pain and cramping.

What To Expect During Your Angioplasty

You may receive medicine through an IV line to relax you. You’ll also have an injection to numb the insertion site. A catheter (thin tube) will be inserted into an artery in your groin and will slide through it while viewing a video monitor. A contrast “dye” is injected into the catheter. A tiny balloon is pushed through the catheter to the blockage. Your doctor will inflate and deflate the balloon a few times to compress the plaque. The catheter is then removed.

Your doctor may determine that you need a stent — a small metal or mesh tube that holds the artery open, letting blood flow smoothly. This is done the same way except the stent is placed over the balloon. After the balloon is inflated and deflated the stent remains in place.

For Your Personal Safety

Before your angiography:

  • Tell your doctor what medications you’re taking, especially those for heart or blood sugar problems
  • Tell your doctor about any allergies you might have
  • Schedule someone to drive you home

After your angiography:

  • Do not drive
  • Do not exercise
  • Avoid walking and taking stairs
  • Avoid bending and lifting

All patients over 50 having an exam that requires the use of intravenous contrast will need a bun, creatinine and renal function tests.

All diabetic patients that receive intravenous contrast and are taking Glucophage, Glucovance or Metformin will receive special instructions post contrast injection. A patient won’t be able to take these medicines for 48 hours after the exam is completed. The patient will be required to have a bun and creatinie drawn before they may resume their diabetic medications.

All patients with allergies to iodine or seafood need to take a prescription medicine. Please call the radiology department to get a prescription.

Instructions for you

The day before:

  1. You may not have any food or drink after midnight the night before your angiography
  2. You may take medications with small sips of water depending on nurse’s instructions

Please call if you have any questions:

Carteret Health Care 252-808-6150
Our hours are from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday - Friday