Transfemoral Angiogram

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This information sheet will explain the examination you are going to have. It is also very important that you follow the instructions from your hospital consultant.

What is a Transfemoral Angiogram?
An angiogram visualises the blood supply to an area of the body by the injection of a dye; this is colourless but will show up on x-rays. After an injection of local anaesthetic, a fine catheter (tube) is fed into the artery in the top of the leg and up the main artery into your abdomen. The dye is injected into the catheter and x-rays are taken of the part of the body we need to look at.

How long will I need to stay in hospital?
An angiogram can be done as a day case, depending on your general medical condition and how you recover. Sometimes you may be required to come into the hospital the day before the procedure and stay until the morning following the procedure.

Do I need to do anything before the examination?
It is very important that you do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours prior to your x-ray appointment. However, you must continue to take any essential medication. (You may take your tablets with a small drink of water.) If you are diabetic you will be advised about your medication by the hospital staff. Please telephone the department on 01908 996934 for advice if you take aspirin, Warfarin, Clopidogrel or any drug that makes you bleed more easily.

What will happen on the ward?
Prior to the procedure you will be changed into an examination gown. A member of staff will take your blood pressure and pulse rate. You will be collected by the Imaging Assistants, who will bring you to the x-ray department on a trolley. If you ordinarily take a GTN spray or an inhaler you must bring these with you to the x-ray department.

What will happen in X-Ray and who will be present during the procedure?
When you arrive you will be greeted by the staff working in the department. They will check your details and ask you if you are allergic to anything. You will then be transferred from the trolley to the x-ray table. A Radiologist (a doctor who specialises in x-rays) will carry out the procedure, assisted by an x-ray nurse. The radiographers will explain how the equipment works and what is required from you to assist with the procedure.

Will I feel anything during the procedure?
The radiologist will numb the top of your leg with some local anaesthetic. You will feel a sharp pain, but only temporarily, and a pushing sensation.

What will the radiologist do next?
The radiologist will insert a needle and a fine wire into your artery to help place the catheter. The dye will then be injected in the catheter and pictures will be taken. As the dye is injected some people feel a warm / burning sensation in their legs and bottom but this will pass quickly.

How long does the procedure take?
This varies from patient to patient but it usually takes approximately one hour.

What happens after the X-Ray?
After the catheter is removed the radiologist will need to press on the top of your leg for approximately 5 minutes to stop the artery bleeding. This may also be temporarily painful. You will then be taken back to your ward. You will need to stay flat (no more than 2 pillows) in bed for the next three hours and will not be allowed to eat or drink anything during this time. A member of staff will
take your blood pressure and check the puncture site on a regular basis. After three hours you should be allowed to get out of bed and move about gently. You may be allowed to go home in the evening.

Are there any possible complications?
With any procedure there may be some risks, these include: –
1. Bleeding – Your blood will be tested before the procedure to check for any clotting abnormalities, which will be dealt with prior to the procedure.
2. Allergic reaction – Any of the drugs that we use could cause an allergic reaction that can range from a slight rash through to an anaphylactic reaction (Severe allergic reaction).
3. Infection – All the equipment used is sterile and will be disposed of at the end of the procedure.

These are all quite rare and we will do everything we can to minimise the chance of these happening to you.

How will I get the results?
The pictures that are taken will be checked by the Consultant Radiologist and the results discussed with your hospital Consultant. Your Consultant will arrange to see you in the outpatients department with the results.

Any further queries?
Our contact number is 01908 996934 and we are available from 8.30 am until 5 pm. Monday to Friday. Please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

Royal College of Radiologists 06/02
Handbook of interventional Radiology and Angiography 2nd edition Mosby, Myron Wojtowycz

This leaflet has been adapted from the British Society of Interventional Radiology (BSIR) and the Clinical Radiology Patients’ Liaison Group (CRPLG) of The Royal College of Radiologists. Approved by the Board of the Faculty of Clinical Radiology: 25 February 2011 © The British Society of Interventional Radiology (BSIR) 2011. Permission is granted to modify and/or re-produce these leaflets for purposes relating to the improvement of health care provided that the source is acknowledged and that none of the material is used for commercial gain. If modified, the BSIR and
RCR logos should not be reproduced. The material may not be used for any other purpose without prior consent from the Society.

Legal notice

Please remember that this leaflet is intended as general information only. It is not definitive, and the RCR and the BSIR cannot accept any legal liability arising from its use. We aim to make the information as up to date and accurate as possible, but please be warned that it is always subject to change. Please therefore always check specific advice on the procedure or any concerns you may have with you.