Angiograhpy and Radiological Procedures

Angiographies are contrast studies of the arteries. Their purpose is to study the arteries and locate any stenosis and obstructions in them as well as treat them, when possible. In addition to the scan, the angiography unit performs a number of therapeutic procedures. These include balloon dilations, the insertion of a stent or metal mesh, or the dilution of a thrombosis or the blockage of circulation.

An angiography is performed by a radiologist together with a radiology nurse. In the scan, the patient is given a local anesthetic and the scanning catheter is led, usually via the artery in the groin, to the area to be scanned. After this, the patient is administered iodine-rich contrast medium intravenously and an x-ray device is used to take the image series. The contrast medium may cause a feeling of heat into the area where it is administered. The contrast medium exits the body in the urine.

An angiography takes approximately one to two hours. The patient is awake during the examination and his or her condition is monitored. In addition, the patient can talk to the physician and nurses during the examination.

Depending on the procedure, the length of bed rest after a contrast study varies from two to 12 hours. Resting after the examination is important to avoid bleeding in the injection site.

Patients come in for an angiography either from the ward or, in some cases, from home on an outpatient basis. On the wards, nurses perform the preliminary preparations and administer the necessary premedication.