Extremity angiography

Extremity Angiography: Preparation, Procedure, Types, Risks, Why, When

Extremity angiography is a minimally invasive imaging procedure used to assess blood flow and the anatomy of the arteries and veins in the arms, legs, feet, and hands. During the procedure, a contrast dye is injected into the target limb and pictures are taken to identify blocked or narrowed arteries, blood clots, arterial tissue, and ballooned veins.

Preparation Before the Extremity Angiography

Before undergoing extremity angiography, the patient must talk to his/her doctor about any allergies, medical conditions, or medications he/she might have. Additionally, the patient should also inform their doctor of any recent exposure to radiation or infections. In some cases, the doctor may ask for pre-screening tests, such as blood tests and urinalysis. The physician may also require the patient to stop taking certain medications or supplements before the procedure.

What Happens During Extremity Angiography?

During extremity angiography, the patient is positioned on an examination table. He or she may need to remove any jewelry or clothing that has metal components. The patient will then be given local anesthesia to numb the area of the injection. After that, the doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into the patient’s arm or leg. A special dye will be injected through the catheter into the targeted artery or vein. As the dye moves through the vessels, X-rays will be taken to provide an image of the affected blood vessels.

Types of Extremity Angiography

There are several different types of extremity angiography, including:

  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA): Uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the blood vessels in the arms, legs, and feet.
  • Computed tomography angiography (CTA): A type of X-ray that produces detailed images of the internal structures of the body.
  • Ultrasound: A painless imaging procedure that uses soundwaves to produce pictures of internal organs and structures in the body.

Risks of Extremity Angiography

Although generally considered a safe procedure, there are potential risks associated with extremity angiography. These may include an allergic reaction to the contrast dye, infection, or nerve damage.

Why Extremity Angiography Is Performed

Extremity angiography can be used to diagnose conditions such as peripheral artery disease, varicose veins, and blood clots. It can also be used to assess the level of damage after trauma to the limbs. The procedure can also help the doctor plan and perform interventions for various kinds of treatment.

When Extremity Angiography Is Recommended

Extremity angiography may be recommended if a patient has symptoms such as pain or numbness in the limbs, swelling in the lower extremities, or any other signs or symptoms that suggest impaired blood flow. Additionally, the procedure may be recommended by a doctor if the patient has suffered an injury to one of his/her limbs.