lower extremity angiogram
lower extremity angiogram
WHAT IS A LOWER EXTREMITY ANGIOGRAM?
A lower extremity angiogram is a test to look at the major blood vessels supplying the lower abdomen, pelvis, and legs. A catheter is inserted into your groin, foot, ankle, or possibly your arm. The catheter is advanced to visualize the arteries that branch off of the aorta and extend down the legs. 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 LOWER EXTREMITY 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 LOWER EXTREMITY 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 LOWER EXTREMITY 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.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A LOWER EXTREMITY ANGIOGRAM?
• The skin in your groin will be shaved and cleansed. Your ankle and foot or arm may be cleansed and prepared in certain cases. The skin will be injected with a local pain medication to numb the area. A needle will be inserted into the artery. A catheter will be placed in the artery and advanced for imaging. Fluoroscopy is used to see the catheter. When contrast is injected, you may feel a warm, flushing sensation, salty or metallic taste, a brief headache, or nausea. These effects usually last for a few moments.
• A Certified Sedation nurse monitors you 1-on-1 during your procedure. You will receive anesthesia that allows for conscious sedation. The medication will make you feel very relaxed and alleviate any pain. You may drift to sleep. You will not be intubated and can breathe comfortably and unassisted. Supplemental oxygen is used during anesthesia.
• Tell the physician or nurse if you experience any trouble breathing, sweating, numbness, or heart palpitations.
• If it is determined that an intervention is needed and can be done at that time, (atherectomy, percutaneous balloon, or stenting) it can be done during the procedure. These procedures are included in the consent form as treatment possibilities.
• Once the procedure is completed, the physician will remove the catheter. Pressure will be applied to the site to keep it from bleeding. A closure device or continued manual pressure may be used to close the puncture site. After the bleeding stops, a dressing will be applied on the site.
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