Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 1, 2023.
An angiogram is used to examine blood flow through your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to your body.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest
- You may also have any of the following:
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat
- 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 care immediately if:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- 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 15 minutes.
Activity after your procedure:
- Rest for the remainder of the day of your procedure.
- Keep your arm or leg straight as much as possible.
- If you need to cough, support the area where the catheter was inserted with your hand.
- 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.
- If the catheter was put in your arm, do not lift more than 5 pounds. Avoid pushing, pulling, or heavy lifting with that arm.
- 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 bandage 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 site with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandage if it gets wet or dirty. Check for signs of infection every day, such as redness, swelling, or pus.
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 contrast liquid used during the procedure.
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:
Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can damage your blood vessels. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
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