What is the experience of getting an angiogram like?
For some, just thinking about getting a angiogram can be stressful. But it doesn't have to be. Finding the right facility and people to perform the exam and convey the findings to you are some of the most important steps you can take to can make it as stress-free as possible. There are plenty of caring, patient people who will be happy to answer your questions and take you through the process in a friendly, pleasant manner.
At the bottom of this column, there's a directory to find many of the angiogram facilities near you.
PREPARING FOR THE APPOINTMENT:
Instructions will vary slightly depending on the type of angiogram you will undergo, but your doctor will explain the procedure to you and give you the chance to ask any questions that you have about the procedure. Then, you will be asked to sign a consent form that gives them permission to do the test. Read the form carefully and definitely ask questions if something is not clear.
It’s important to let your doctor know if you have ever had a reaction to any contrast dye, or if you are allergic to iodine or seafood. Also, tell them if you are sensitive or allergic to any medications, latex, tape, and anesthetic agents (local and general). Now’s the time to disclose any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, blood clotting/thinning medications, or herbal supplements that you’re taking and whether you have a history of any bleeding disorders.
THE NIGHT AND/OR MORNING BEFORE:
Before your angiogram, you will need to fast for a certain period of time – this could be several hours or overnight. Because an angiogram involves radiation and/or sedatives, if you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor to make sure it’s wise to do the test. They may request a blood test prior to the procedure to determine how long it takes your blood to clot. Other blood tests may be done as well.