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An angiogram is used to examine blood flow through your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to your body. Your healthcare provider will use x-rays to see the blood flow.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

  • You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:

    • Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns

    • Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm

    • Trouble breathing

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing

  • You have any of the following signs of a stroke:

    • Numbness or drooping on one side of your face

    • Weakness in an arm or leg

    • Confusion or difficulty speaking

    • Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss

Seek immediate care if:

  • The leg or arm used for your angiogram is numb, painful, or changes color.

  • The bruise at your catheter site gets bigger or becomes swollen.

  • Your wound does not stop bleeding even after you apply firm pressure for 15 minutes.

  • You have weakness in an arm or leg.

  • You become confused or have difficulty speaking.

  • You have dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.

  • Your catheter site is red, leaks pus, or smells bad.

  • You have increasing pain at your catheter site.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Watch for bleeding and bruising:

It is normal to have a bruise and soreness where the catheter went in. Contact your healthcare provider if your bruise gets larger. If your wound bleeds, use your hand to put pressure on the bandage. If you do not have a bandage, use a clean cloth to put pressure over and just above the puncture site. Seek care immediately if the bleeding does not stop within 5 minutes.

Protect your leg after your procedure:

Rest for the remainder of the day of your procedure. Keep your arm or leg straight as much as possible. If the angiogram catheter was put in your leg, do not use stairs for a few days after your angiogram. When you must use stairs, step up with the leg that was not used for the angiogram. Straighten this leg to move the other leg up to the next step without putting stress on it. You may be told not to lift more than 15 pounds for 5 days after your procedure. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is safe to drive and start doing your other normal daily activities. Go slowly at first.

Keep your wound clean and dry:

Ask your healthcare provider when you can bathe. You will need to keep the bandage in place and dry for a few days after your procedure. Cover the bandage with a plastic bag and tape the opening around your skin to keep water out. When you are allowed to bathe without a bandage, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandage if it gets wet or dirty.

Drink liquids as directed:

Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids will help your body flush out the dye used during the procedure.

Limit alcohol:

Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours after your procedure. Then limit alcohol. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.

Do not smoke:

Cigarette smoking can narrow your veins and make blood flow difficult. Smoking can also delay healing after treatment. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.