Angiogram

I am scheduled to have an Angiogram on October 21. What should I expect? I have never had one before.
I have been taking Plavix for 6 months.
I had emergency coiling for a burst Anurism on Jan. 4 followed up by the insertion of a Flow Diverter on March 25. They want to make sure all the repair work is OK.

Thank you for the encouragement, Louisa! I’m trying not to worry.

Hi Anna, I've had 2 angiograms. Can't recall the first one but the second I prepared for in advance.

Like you I was on Plavix for 1 yr and was advised to stop taking it a week before procedure.

I realized that they were going to shave my bikini/groin area, so I did it myself ahead of time.

Procedure was scheduled for 8 a.m. and It was cold in the room while I waited, so "think warm socks,sweater and ask for extra blankets". I was not allowed to go to sleep during the procedure, so the head nurse gave me the anestetic just 20min or less before I went in. I felt almost everything (this part was unpleasant)...

I was half sleep towards the end but the team kept talking and asking me to tense my arms, hands, etc throughout the procedure. After it I was back in my room for observation because the spot in the groin area (artery) would not close/stop bleeding and was swelling. eventually they sent me to a different area, where I stayed for 48 hours with a harnes that put pressure directly on the wound ( this last part was the only painful issue). I could not move and my back started hurting, but nothing could be done. In the end bleeding stopped and off to home I went.

Please, Check A.S.A.P with your doctors about coming off of Plavix before surgery, it definitely diluted my blood but for the tiny wound to close it created an unnecessary problem.

Also, watch your diet. Eating leafy greens (spinach, kale, etc.) don't allow blood to clot either (but you probably know this already).

Other than this, I wish you a fast recovery and do not be afraid, on the screen it looked like my surgeon was playing packman inside of me (LOL!), and they actually try to make you laugh and relax during the angiogram.

Keep us posted on how you are doing ok?, be strong and smile!

The angiogram for me was OK until they injected the dye in the vertebral artery (the one on your neck responsible for your balance) - I had THE worst vertigo of my life, but not everybody experiences that! Otherwise you might feel like some weird taste in your mouth or blind spots behind your eyes or get a bit hot... but rest assured, whatever you feel it literally lasts only seconds. And then you won't be able to move for 24 hours to leave time for your femoral artery to heal, you could have a sore groin but nothing to be afraid of. Good luck!

Hi Anna

There are different Types of MRI Angiograms cerebral, I have had 4 over the last 18 months and I am due for another one on 20 October, the day before yours is due.

Only one of them was through the groin area and was completely painless, this was done without an aesthetic, the others were all done by injecting the dye into my arm and then doing the scan, once again totally painless!

The only thing that I felt was a warm flush as the dye was injected, but as I say totally pain free.

If it is done through the groin, then they will keep you lying flat for about 3 hours, in both cases I went home after 4 hours, for the groin one and went home within an hour of having the dye injection and scan in the arm.

I suggest that you establish with your Doctor which type you will have, ie: the arm or the groin?

In either event you have nothing to worry about, as they are both painless proceedure's, so do not stress!

Kind Regards

Martin

Hi Anna - I just had my first angiogram done September 2nd. I was so, so nervous before. I'm a big baby when it comes to things like this but it wasn't a big deal. I had to stop taking one of my meds prior to it but the aspirin I'm taking everyday was ok. Ask about the Plavix since that is a blood thinner they may not want you to take it a few days prior to the procedure. Anyway, I was under sedation but awake. They gave me a combination of Versed and Fentanyl which worked very well. One covers the pain and the other relaxes you so you are calm. There are other drugs they can use but that was my doctors choice and worked for me. You are on a hard table with the fluoroscope above your head for the pictures. They went up through my groin and then injected the dye into my head. When they injected the dye it felt very warm but not unpleasant or weird. Just a sensation. I didn't actually feel the injection of the dye itself because they hook you up to an IV. The only other part that I felt a little was when they put the catheter in my groin. They will give you an anesthetic first but I felt it a little because they had to poke around to find the artery. I'm ticklish so I thought I was going to burst out laughing but they got that artery just in time! Other than that it was no sooner over and I hadn't felt a thing. The procedure itself all total took about an hour from when they prep you to when the doctor was done with the pictures. Afterward I was in recovery for about 4 hours. They used something called an angioseal which plugs the hole in your artery and speeds up the recovery a little. Otherwise I believe you would be in recovery for up to 6 hours. You need to be still so you don't bleed from the incision and of course wait for the anesthesia to wear off. I felt a little tired and not myself for a few days after and my doctor said that was common but wasn't in any pain. I see from others responses there is more than one way to do an angiogram but this was my experience. Hope this is helpful! Best of luck with everything!

Thank you for the encouragement, Martin! They are going through my groin.

Thank you, Wendy. It’s so helpful to know what to expect! I’m a big baby too!

I'm such a dope. I was looking at other discussions and found one I posted titled 6 month angiogram! I included a link to a website that goes into detail about the angiogram and I also had a more detailed description about what I experienced. This short term memory of mine is just terrible!!! If you are really into knowing everything like I am, that website was helpful to me. If you can't find it let me know. I was going to copy and paste it but thought you might want to read the whole discussion. Anyway, here I go again rambling on. One of the "deficits" (hate that word) I now have!

Hi Anna! I've had several Angiograms thru the course of my healing journey and please know that these are considered the "Gold Standard" for monitoring these beasts! While it all can be a bit worrisome as you approach your first one; it actually can be pretty cool to see your Brain in action :))! For me; I would look forward to these Angiograms as it was this procedure that led me to the gift of "Peace" that confirmed that all went well to repair my AVM and this beast could no longer invite harm into my life :))! You ask what to expect? Plan for a full day at the facility where you are having this done and a day of very low-key activities the day after. Other than that; stay calm and feel confident that all will be good and will be Praying for positive results for YOU! ....Michele

I have had 2 angiograms and I agree with the others - it really is not a big deal. I had one before the coiling/stent and one 3 months afterward. I was on Plavix when they did the post -op one to see if everything looked fine and I could discontinue Plavix. It did take a bit longer to stop the bleeding in the groin, but I was fine. Having to lay prone for 4 hours afterward is the worst. I just had my 3 year MRA and everything looks great - I will have MRA's annually unless they detect something, then it will be angiogram time.

Seriously, you will be fine. We have all had an angio for the first time and we were all worried beforehand. I see that Louisa C said they put her to sleep, but I wasn't put to sleep - they do give you something to relax you. Good luck, Sherri

Hi Anna,

I am a 16 year survivor of a ruptured, clipped annie. I had numerous angiograms while in the hospital and the main thing was just to remain calm. My main concern is for you to discuss with your doctor about going off the Plavix sooner than later. I have worked in the healthcare profession for 14 years and the problem with angiogram can be at the site where they enter the blood vessel usually in the Common Femoral Artery in the groin area. Plavix I believe is a blood thinner and after the angio they will apply pressure to the site to prevent bleeding; however, blood thinners tend to prevent the blood from clotting off well enough and the site can continue to bleed causing them to have to apply continuous pressure and unfortunately a lot of pain. Sorry I don' want to shed negative light but check with doc just to be sure! Otherwise I feel you will be fine and I am praying for peace for you as you undergo this procedure!

Take care,

Naomi