Procedure Locations

What is Angiography?

What Is Angiography?

Angiography is a procedure that helps Interventional Radiologists determine how blood flows through your arteries. During Angiography, contrast material and a special X-ray are used to determine which, if any, arteries have become narrowed (stenosed) or blocked (occluded) by measuring the flow of blood. The images that are captured during Angiography are called angiograms and are used to help guide any treatment options that may be needed.

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Why would my physician recommend Angiography?

Your physician may recommend Angiography if there is reason to believe that blood is not flowing properly in the arteries leading to your legs or, less frequently, your arms.

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How does Angiography work?

During this procedure, a special contrast agent is injected into your blood stream through a catheter (thin tube) allowing vessels to show up on special X-rays. As the solution passes through your blood vessels, special images called angiograms are captured. These angiograms allow the Interventional Radiologist to determine if there are any abnormalities.

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What do I need to do before my procedure?

You will be given detailed instructions by our staff before your procedure. In general, do not eat, drink or smoke anything after midnight the night before your procedure. This includes breath mints, gum and tobacco. Patients should notify staff if they are diabetic, taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) or allergic to anesthesia. Be sure to bring your insurance card, photo ID, list of current medications (dose and frequency) and any diagnostic testing results.

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What should I expect during Angiography?

Prior to the procedure, you will receive specific instructions on how to prepare and what medications, if any, you should avoid. During the exam, you will lie on a table. You will be connected to monitors that will track your vitals. You will be given a mild sedative or anesthesia. The area where the tiny skin nick will be made will be sterilized and numbed. A tiny tube will be inserted into an artery in your groin and a contrast agent will be injected to allow for a clearer picture of the blood vessels. While the agent passes through your system, a series of X-rays will be taken to evaluate if there are any blockages in your blood vessels. If a significant blockage is found, Balloon Angioplasty and /or Vascular Stenting may be performed to keep the vessel open. When the test is completed the catheter is removed and pressure will be applied to the groin for approximately ten minutes.

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What will I feel during the Angiography procedure?

You will feel a slight sting when the needles are inserted for the IV line and the anesthesia. If you receive sedation, you will feel relaxed and sleepy and may or may not be partially awake during the procedure. You may feel some pressure when the catheter is inserted, but no serious pain.

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What should I expect after Angiography?

After the procedure, you will need to rest quietly and remain still for a few hours to ensure that the groin heals properly. Once discharged, you will need someone to drive you home. Complete instructions will be given to you, but you should rest until the next day when you can resume some activities.

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How do I schedule an Angiography procedure with Fairfax Vascular Center?

Before scheduling an appointment, you will need to get a referral from your physician. Once you have a referral, you can schedule an appointment by calling 703.698.4475 Monday through Friday 7am to 5pm.

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When are appointments offered for Angiography procedures?

Appointments are available at Fairfax Vascular Center Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm. Learn more about this location.

Related Resources

Patient Resources

Vascular Center Patient Guide

This brochure prepares you for your first visit where your Interventional Radiologist will talk about how to prepare for your procedure, what to expect on the day of and days following the procedure, and answer any questions you may have.

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