WHAT IS A CAROTID ANGIOGRAM?
A carotid angiogram is a test to look at the large blood vessels in your neck that carry blood to your brain. These are called the carotid arteries. A catheter is inserted into your groin, or possibly your arm. The catheter is advanced to visualize the aortic arch, carotid arteries, and smaller arteries of the brain. Using contrast, the image will be seen on the video screen. The doctor can see if there is any blockage or narrowing of the artery.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF A CAROTID ANGIOGRAM?
• Bleeding, swelling caused by a collection of blood (hematoma), injury to nerves, or infection.
• Damage to an artery or an artery wall. This can cause blood clots, abnormal ballooning of the artery, or abnormal link between the artery and nearby vein.
• Temporary kidney failure. Please notify your provider if you have had recent imaging testing that included contrast, as this would increase your risk for kidney issues.
TELL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF YOU:
• Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead to birth defects.
• Are allergic to or sensitive to any medications, contrast, latex, tape, or anesthetic medicines (local or general).
• Have kidney failure or other kidney problems. In some cases, the contrast can cause kidney failure. You are at higher risk for this if you take certain diabetes medicines. You may need to hold certain medications prior to the procedure.
• Are taking any medication that include prescriptions, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements.
• Have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinners, aspirin or medications or supplements that affect blood clotting. These may have to be stopped prior to the procedure.
HOW DO I GET READY FOR A CAROTID ANGIOGRAM?
• You will need to have blood work prior to your procedure. You should receive an order from your physician.
• You will be asked not to eat after midnight prior to the procedure. You may have clear liquids 2 hours before your arrival time.
• Bring your insurance card and picture ID with you to the appointment. You may bring an adult guest with you.
• You will need a driver to your appointment. If you need transportation, please let the office know so that we can arrange it for you.
WHAT HAPPENS PRIOR TO A CAROTID ANGIOGRAM?
• You will read and sign your consent that gives your permission for the procedure to be performed. You will have the opportunity to ask your provider questions and have anything explained that you do not understand.
• You will be asked to remove any clothing or jewelry that may get in the way of the test. You will be given a gown to wear. You will be asked to empty your bladder prior to the test.
• An intravenous (IV) line will be started in your hand or arm. You will be connected to a monitor that records your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.
• You may get medication to help you relax before the procedure.
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