When your doctor wants you to have an angiogram, you come to Radiology for a procedure to enable us to see specific blood vessels and arteries inside your body.

  • An angiogram enables us to see blood vessels and arteries inside your body.
  • We use a minimally invasive technique using local anaesthetic.
  • After the procedure, you must remain in the department for at least four hours for observation.

What is an angiogram?

An angiogram is an x-ray procedure that enables us to see blood vessels and arteries inside your body.

The examination will be performed by a team of experts that includes a radiologist (specialist x-ray doctor), nurses and a radiographer. You are usually awake during the procedure and our staff stay with you. 

Your comfort, privacy and safety will be maintained at all times.

What happens during the procedure?

The doctor guides you throughout the procedure.

When you enter the room, you will see some large machines that are used to take the pictures.

A small needle will be inserted into your vein either in your arm or back of the hand before the start of the procedure. This will allow the nurse to give you medication during your procedure, if required.

You will be placed on the angiography table and your head or arm will be placed in a special support to help keep you still. We will ensure you are comfortable before commencing the test.

A small area in your groin or forearm is shaved, then the radiologist will clean the area with an antiseptic solution and place a sterile cover over your body. 

The radiologist will give you an injection of local anaesthetic that will numb the area, and insert a small plastic tube into your blood vessel in the groin or forearm.

Special x-ray dye (contrast) is injected through this plastic tube to enable the doctor to see the blood vessels being investigated. 

After the injection of contrast dye you may experience a warm flushing sensation, metallic taste in your mouth or a sensation of wetting yourself – these are common and will disappear shortly after the injection finishes. You will need to lie very still and may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds each time the x-rays are being taken.

What happens after the procedure?

The plastic tube is removed. Firm pressure is applied by the doctor for approximately 10 minutes, to assist the healing process.

If the angiogram was done through the groin then you must lie flat, with your head on one pillow and your leg straight for at least four hours to prevent the blood vessel from bleeding. During this time routine checks will be performed and after four hours, you can sit up and then be reviewed before your discharge home.

If the angiogram was done through the forearm you will be able to sit up during your recovery. 

You can discuss your results with your referring doctor.

Are you pregnant?

Please inform us if there is a possibility you could be pregnant.

Last updated 13 December 2022