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What is an Angiogram Procedure?

An angiogram is a test done by a radiologist (doctor specializing in X-rays) to study your child's blood vessels. At Cincinnati Children's, this test is done in Interventional Radiology.

The doctor uses a special X-ray machine and a contrast that is injected into the bloodstream through a tube which is placed in an artery in the groin. This allows the doctor to see the blood vessels and take X-rays.

An angiogram can be a frightening test for a child. Often children require general anesthesia to help calm them before the test. The doctor will explain how the test is done and about sedation if it is needed. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Before the Angiogram

Talk to your child about the test ahead of time. Explain what will happen in simple words. Be honest with your child and allow them to share their feelings.

You will receive special eating and drinking instructions for your child before the day of the test. Your child is not allowed to eat or drink for several hours before the angiogram because anesthesia may be used for the procedure. Follow the eating instructions given by the doctor or interventional radiology nurse.

Registration and Where to Go

If your child is having the procedure as an outpatient at Cincinnati Children's, we will tell you where to register your child, depending on whether your child is given general anesthesia.

If your child is getting general anesthesia, they will go to the Interventional Radiology area on a stretcher or movable bed. You may walk with your child to this area and then say good-bye before the procedure. The interventional radiology nurse will take care of your child during the procedure.

When you leave your child for the test, go to the Surgery Waiting Room. The nurses or technologists will give you directions. Sign in with the volunteer at the entrance, and sign out if you leave this area.

If you leave the Same Day Surgery area, please return within one hour of the time you arrived. The Surgery Waiting Room is where the doctor will talk to you after the test.

After the Angiogram

Children who have anesthesia for the procedure may go to the PACU (Post-Anesthesia Care Unit) or Radiology Recovery Room until they are awake enough to go home or return to the unit.

Your child will be on a monitor during and after the procedure. Your child will remain in the recovery area, go to the short stay unit, or go back to their room and remain flat in bed for 6-8 hours after the test.

Once home, your child will have restricted activity such as no heavy lifting or strenuous activities for 48 hours.

When you go home, the nurses or doctors will give you special instructions about what to expect and do at home.

Call Your Child's Doctor If:

Call the interventional radiology nurse at 513-636-8547 if you have questions or concerns, or if your child has any of these symptoms:

  • Bleeding from the groin puncture site. If this happens, have your child lie flat and apply direct pressure to the site.
  • Swelling, redness, or severe pain at puncture site
  • Color changes in the leg or foot below the puncture site
  • Numbness or loss of feeling below the puncture site
  • A fever higher than 38.3° C (101° F) rectally or 37.8° C (100° F) under the arm

Last Updated 01/2020

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