An arteriogram is an X-ray of arteries. It evaluates vascular conditions, such as an aneurysm (a bulge in the weakened area of a blood vessel), stenosis (narrowed blood vessel) or blockages. Treatments can also be done such as dissolving a clot or placing in a stent for a damaged blood vessel.
First, you will be placed on the X-ray table and then an intravenous line will be inserted into a vein in your arm or hand. Then, you will be connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor that will record the electrical activity of the heart and will monitor your heart during the procedure using small, adhesive electrode patches. The patches will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate during the arteriogram.
Next, a small incision will be made into your arm or groin and a small catheter will be inserted. Once the catheter is in place, the doctor will inject a contrast dye into the IV and a series of X-rays will be taken.
Once the images are processed, the catheter will be removed and pressure will be applied to keep the area from bleeding. You will remain flat in a bed in the recovery room several hours after the procedure to prevent bleeding from the catheter insertion site.
When you return home, you should monitor the incision for bleeding, unusual pain, swelling, abdominal discoloration or temperature change in the arm or the leg on the side of the puncture site. You can expect a small bruise. You will probably be advised not to do any strenuous activity for at least 12 hours. Be sure to not take a hot bath or shower.