Your doctor has recommended you for an angiogram. Marc Friedman, MD, chief of Interventional and Vascular Radiology, heads our team of imaging physicians, nurses and technologists who specialize in these procedures. An angiogram is a way for physicians to see the health of blood vessels (veins and arteries) inside your body. With this procedure physicians can determine whether there is any abnormal narrowing or enlargement of blood vessels, or if there is any blockage. The procedure utilizes an X-ray scanner and a special dye to create detailed images of your blood vessels.

Before Arriving For Your Procedure

  • You will be contacted by a member of our team the day before your exam (between 4 and 6 p.m.) and given instructions on how you should prepare and what time you should arrive. If you are not contacted, please call 310-423-4125 early in the morning of your procedure (such as 6 a.m.).
  • You should have your doctor's office fax all orders and lab results to Cedars-Sinai the day before your procedure: 310-423-7989.
  • You should plan to arrive two hours before your scheduled procedure (three hours if you have not had all your pre-op lab work done).
  • You should not eat anything from the midnight before your procedure.
  • You should consult with your physician about taking your regular medications prior to your exam. Some (such as Coumadin or Plavix) should not be taken before your procedure.
  • You will not be allowed to drive after the procedure, so you should arrange for someone to help you get home.
  • We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing.

After Arriving

  • You will meet with an imaging physician who will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have.
  • After this discussion, you will be asked to sign a consent form for the procedure.
  • You must notify the nurse, technologist and/or imaging physician of any allergies you may have, or if you are pregnant, prior to your exam.
  • A small sample of blood will be drawn for testing.

During Your Procedure

  • You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and to lie on a scanning table.
  • An area around your groin will be shaved and cleaned in preparation for the insertion of a catheter (a thin tube).
  • You will be given a mild sedative. This will not put you to sleep but will help you to relax.
  • A local anesthetic will be injected into the catheter site in your groin, and the catheter will be inserted.
  • The imaging physician will direct this catheter through your arteries until it reaches the part of your body which is to be studied. You will not feel the catheter.
  • Once the catheter is in place, a special dye will be injected through it. This dye may give you a warm sensation.
  • Several sets of X-rays will be taken to give the doctors a set of images to study.
  • The catheter will then be removed and pressure placed on the site of the catheter insertion for 10 minutes.
  • You will need to lie flat for two to six hours after the angiogram.
  • The entire procedure might take less than an hour or as long as several hours.

After Your Procedure

  • If you live more than an hour's drive from the hospital, you may need to stay overnight.
  • An imaging physician will review the images from your exam and write a report of the findings.
  • Your physician will be sent this report and will discuss the results with you.