An abdominal angiogram is an imaging test doctors use to observe blood vessels. It focuses on the abdomen and can be used to check blood flow to organs in that area, including the spleen and liver.
What Happens During an Abdominal Angiogram?
The procedure begins by inserting a small tube called a catheter into a larger artery in the groin. It is moved into the area of interest. Contrast is injected through the tube to allow a radiologist to view the system using X-rays. Some patients may also have a CT or MRI scan with an angiogram.
Why Would I Need an Abdominal Angiogram?
If you are experiencing problems with abdominal blood vessels, then your doctor may recommend this procedure. It is often used to diagnose aneurysms, blood clots or blockages, stenosis, vasospasm, or abnormal connections between veins and arteries. Other conditions may be identified during an abdominal angiogram, including tumors and internal bleeding.
This procedure can also be used to deliver medicine directly to an organ or tissue. For example, a clotting medication may be applied to a site that is bleeding. Cancer treatment may be administered directly into the tumor.
Are There Any Risks That I Should Know About?
Patients should always talk to their doctor about potential risks before having a procedure done. Abdominal angiograms come with a small risk of complications including:
- Nerve injury
- Punctured blood vessel
- Damage to organs
Make sure you tell your doctor if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, have a history of kidney disease, are breastfeeding, or have an allergy. If you have questions, get in touch with your physician to discuss concerns and prepare for your abdominal angiogram.