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Peripheral Angiography

Talk with your health care provider about the risks and complications of angiography.

Peripheral angiography is an outpatient procedure that makes a “map” of the vessels (arteries) in your lower body, legs, and arms. This map can show where blood flow may be blocked.

Nurse checking senior patient's IV in his arm.

Before the procedure

  • Tell your health care provider about all medicines you take and any allergies you may have.

  • Follow any directions you’re given for not eating or drinking before the procedure. If your provider says to take your normal medicines, swallow them with only small sips of water.

  • Arrange for a family member or friend to drive you home.

During the procedure

  • You may get medicine through an IV (intravenous) line to relax you. You’re given an injection to numb the insertion site. Then, a tiny skin cut (incision) is made near an artery in your groin.

  • Your provider inserts a thin tube (catheter) through the incision. He or she then threads the catheter into an artery while looking at a video monitor.

  • Contrast “dye” is injected into the catheter. You may feel warmth or pressure in your legs and back. You lie still as X-rays are taken. The catheter is then taken out.

After the procedure

You’ll be taken to a recovery area. A doctor or nurse will apply pressure to the site for about 10 minutes. Your doctor or nurse will tell you how long to lie down and keep the insertion site still. Your health care provider will discuss the results with you soon after the procedure.

Back at home

On the day you get home, don’t drive, don’t exercise, avoid walking and taking stairs, and avoid bending and lifting. Your health care provider may give you other care instructions.

Call your doctor or nurse

Call your health care provider right away if:

  • You notice a lump or bleeding at the insertion site

  • You feel pain at the insertion site

  • You become lightheaded or dizzy

  • You have leg pain or numbness

Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Pierce-Smith, Daphne, RN, MSN, CCRC
Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Last Review Date: 3/20/2014
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