A renal arteriogram is a procedure in which a thin flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through an artery, usually in the arm or groin, allowing the physician to take x-ray pictures of the arteries feeding the blood flow to the kidneys to evaluate for blockages.
- Why are you having procedure (symptoms/indication)? There are several reasons a person might have a peripheral arteriogram, and these include:
- a person has known renal artery stenosis that needs to be re-evaluated.
- a person is having extremely high blood pressures which are difficulty to treat and the suspected cause is a partially blocked renal artery.
- a person has had abnormal screening test such as an ultrasound of the renal arteries with suspected blockages.
- Prep for the procedure: Do not to eat or drink for 8 to 12 hours prior to the procedure. You will need to make arrangements to have someone drive you home following the procedure.
- What is patient expected to do during the procedure? Prior to the procedure, you will be given a sedative causing drowsiness in order to relax you; however, we will be able to arouse you should it be necessary. The area where the catheter will be inserted is numbed with a local anesthetic and the catheter is inserted.
- Risks: Complications from this procedure are rare, and the risk of death is very low. Possible risks include: (1) allergic reaction to the dye which can be treated with medicine; (2) damage to the kidneys from the dye; (3) irregular heart rhythms which can be treated with medicine; (4) bleeding can occur at the site where the catheter is inserted; (5) although uncommon, blood clots can form around the catheter or clumps of plaque can be knocked loose from the walls of the arteries during the procedure and can trigger a heart attack or a stroke
- Post procedure instructions/limitations: Refrain from heavy lifting, greater than 5 pounds, for approximately 1 week following the procedure due to possible bleeding from the site where the catheter was inserted. To avoid infection, do not take a tub bath until the site where the catheter was inserted is healed. You can usually return to your normal activities over approximately 1 week.
- When to call your cardiologist: You should call your cardiologist immediately and/or return to the emergency department immediately if you experience persistent numbness or coolness of the affected extremity; if you experience acute onset of chest pain and/or shortness of breath; or if you experience rapid swelling or bleeding at the site where the catheter was inserted.
- Miscellaneous: Please follow all the instructions that your healthcare provider gives you.