Sometimes a blood vessel can develop a blockage or narrowing, called stenosis, which restricts blood flow and causes pain and other health problems. If this happens, your doctor may recommend angiography to get more information, diagnose, or help treat a condition.
What is angiography?
Angiography is a painless procedure that uses X-rays to take pictures of blood vessels in the body. The pictures, also known as angiograms, can help surgeons determine whether a blood vessel is blocked or injured. We use angiography to help treat various conditions, such as peripheral arterial disease. For example, a surgeon may use angiography to help guide the placement of a tube, or stent, inside a blocked blood vessel to keep it open.
What to expect
During an angiography procedure, a small catheter—a thin, flexible tube—is placed inside a blood vessel. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter to help the blood vessel show up more clearly on the X-ray. During an angiography procedure, we use a local anesthetic that numbs the area the surgeon is working on so that you won’t feel pain.
Recovery after angiography
Most patients go home the same day as the angiography. Your experience and recovery time will depend on your condition and the type of procedure you have.