This test is done in a hospital. You will lie on an x-ray table. You may ask for some medicine to make you sleep and relaxed (sedative) if you are anxious about the test.
The health care provider will shave and clean an area, usually in the groin.
- A numbing medicine (anesthetic) is injected into the skin over an artery.
- A needle is placed into that artery.
- A thin plastic tube called a catheter passed through the needle into the artery. The health care provider moves it into the area of the body being studied. The doctor can see live images of the area on a TV-like monitor, and uses them as a guide.
- Dye flows through the catheter.
- X-ray images are taken of the artery.
Certain treatments can be done during this procedure. These treatments include:
- Dissolving a blood clot with medicine
- Opening a partially blocked artery with a balloon
- Placing a small tube called a stent into an artery to help hold it open
The health care team will check your pulse (heart rate), blood pressure, and breathing during the procedure.
The catheter is removed when the test is done. Pressure is placed on the area for 10 - 15 minutes to stop any bleeding. A bandage is then put on the wound.
The arm or leg where the needle was placed should be kept straight for 6 hours after the procedure. You should avoid strenuous activity, such as heavy lifting, for 24 - 48 hours.