Angiography / DSA

  • 1 - 3 hour procedure
  • Fasting and blood test required
  • Possible overnight hospital stay

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Everything you need to know about Angiography/DSA

How Angiography / DSA scans work

Angiography is a specialised x-ray to examine blood vessels using a Fluoroscopy machine. It's performed by inserting a thin tube, or catheter, then injecting an x-ray dye (called contrast media) into an artery to see the vessels' course and flow.

An Angiogram / DSA can examine most parts of the body, including:

  • Kidneys
  • Gut

What to expect

An Angiogram / DSA is a minimally invasive procedure.

Upon your arrival at the Radiology Department, the radiographer may ask you to change into a gown if necessary. You'll be taken to the CT Scan Room and asked to lay on the CT bed. If the procedure requires an injection of contrast media, the radiographer or radiology nurse will insert a cannula, usually on the side of your elbow. You may be asked to hold your breath during the scan - this is very important.

The day of the Procedure

The night before
Good night's sleep

4 hrs prior
Start fasting

1 hr prior
Cannula and gown

The Andiogram/DSA
1 - 3 hour procedure

2 hrs after
Allowed to sit up

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What should I eat (or not eat) prior to an angiogram / DSA?

Regardless of the site of the procedure, you'll be required to fast for several hours prior to the examination. You'll be given detailed instructions for how to prepare for your procedure when you book your appointment. This may involve ceasing certain medications and having a blood test.

What should I tell staff before the angiogram / DSA?

You'll need to tell the radiographer if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • Suffering from any serious health conditions or allergies (e.g. diabetes or kidney disease)
  • Taking any medication
What to bring for an angiogram / DSA

Your GP or specialist may ask you to bring your medications or copies of previous x-rays. Everything else will be supplied by the radiographer.

What to wear for an angiogram / DSA

You'll be asked to remove any metallic items, such as jewellery, watches, eyewear and belts, as these items can show up on the x-ray.

You'll also be asked to remove any clothing obstructing the area to be x-rayed and given a medical gown to wear instead, so try and wear something that's comfortable and easy to remove.

What's the recovery process?

After the procedure you'll need a few hours of rest to allow the effects of the anesthetic to wear off and to prevent any bleeding from the catheter insertion.

Some patients may be asked to stay in hospital overnight for observation, but most will be able to go home after a couple of hours.

You'll need a friend or family to stay with you as it usually takes 8-12 hours before patients feel healthy enough to resume normal activities.

Can I drive home?

You'll need someone to pick you up from the hospital as there will be an increased risk of bleeding from the catheter site for many hours.

Patients should also abstain from any alcohol or the operation of any machinery for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

Meet Dr Peter Zheng

Consultant Radiologist, Lumus Imaging, Brisbane

"We are constantly adopting the latest technology and ideas, expanding into regional, rural and metropolitan areas, and attracting professionals with genuine talent and enthusiasm at every level. "

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