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Abdominal angiogram

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Angiogram or arteriogram entails taking X ray images of blood vessels and abdominal angiogram is essentially performed on the blood vessels of the abdomen.

Purpose of abdominal angiogram

It’s a diagnostic technique that helps to detect complications associated with the abdominal blood vessels and abdominal organs. You need to undergo abdominal angiography under the following circumstances:

  • Formation of blood clot (thrombosis) or blockage in blood vessel (occlusion)
  • Abnormal connections between arteries and blood vessels
  • Constriction or stenosis of blood vessels
  • Aneurysm in the arteries  
  • To detect progression of tumours or haemorrhoids in blood vessels
  • Extent of cirrhosis in the liver

Abdominal angiography is also a guided technique during delivery of medicines to abdominal tissues or organs.

How is abdominal angiogram performed?

To perform abdominal angiogram, access within the abdominal artery is required. This is known as intra arterial access. Your doctor shall inject a contrast dye in the artery to obtain visually clear X ray images of the arteries.

Two types of techniques are involved in abdominal angiography, viz. selective and non selective. In the former the contrast dye is injected in the specific abdominal blood vessel that needs to be visualized while in the latter the contrast dye is injected in a different artery which may be the brachial or the femoral artery. Once the dye is injected, it travels through abdominal blood vessels and images are obtained.

Abdominal blood flow and complications present in the tissues get detected with either of the aforementioned procedures.

How to prepare for abdominal angiography

Your doctor will assess your medical condition before conducting the test. You must tell your doctor if you have a medical condition like bleeding disorder, have history of allergy to contrast dye, latex, tape, etc and if are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctor should also know if you are taking any medicines (like blood thinners), supplements, contraceptives, etc.

Your doctor might ask you to stop taking blood thinners and will also let you know when to fast- from the previous midnight or just few hours before the test.

What happens during abdominal angiography?

You will be given a hospital gown to wear and you have to urinate before undergoing the test. During the test you will be connected to EKG monitor where your vital parameters will be monitored.

The site of injection will be cleaned with an alcohol and will be marked. Once the needle is placed properly, the technician will insert the catheter through which the dye will be injected.

You can very well sense flushing, metallic taste in mouth, slight nausea or vomiting as the dye travels through your body.  Multiple x rays will be taken and then the catheter will be taken out. Your doctor will immediately compress the puncture site to stop bleeding, followed by dressing.

What to expect after abdominal angiography?

You will be taken to the recovery room where your vital signs will be monitored. You have to lie down straight to prevent bleeding from the injection site.

You have to drink plenty of water and fluids like juices to enhance flushing out of toxin from your body.

Your doctor would discharge you from the hospital depending upon the status of your recovery.

Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions after travelling home. Observe the injection site and do not strain it or try to prick or stretch it. Allow it to heal.

Let your doctor know immediately if you experience any unusual symptom like numbing of skin, inflammation, intense pain, fever, etc.

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Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: June 08, 2015