Venography

What is venography?

Venography (also called a venogram) is a test that uses X-rays to take pictures after a special dye is injected into a vein. It is done to look for any clots, blockages, or abnormal areas in your veins. It can also be used to guide your healthcare provider in treating an abnormality in your veins.

How is venography done?

Before the test:

  • Your healthcare provider will ask you to sign a consent form for venography. The consent form will state the reason you are having the test, what happens during the test, and what you may expect afterward.
  • Your provider may have you prepare for the test by not eating or drinking anything the day of the venography.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have any food or medicine allergies.
  • Tell your provider if you have had kidney problems or an allergy to chemicals, such as contrast dye.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking any medicines, including nonprescription drugs, herbal remedies, or illegal drugs (if any).
  • Tell your provider if you are or think you may be pregnant.
  • You will have a small tube (IV catheter) inserted into a vein in your hand or arm. This will allow medicine to be given directly into your blood and to give you fluids, if needed.
  • You may be asked to remove any jewelry you are wearing.

During the test:

  • You may be given a sedative through your IV to help you to relax.
  • You will be given medicine called anesthesia to keep you from feeling pain during the procedure. Local anesthesia numbs the area where you will have the procedure.
  • Your provider will insert a small tube (IV catheter) into a vein below the veins that may have the blood clot or other problem.
  • Dye will be injected through the IV into the vein. This may cause you to feel suddenly very warm or have a taste of metal in your mouth.
  • X-rays will be taken as the dye moves from the vein with the IV through the area with the possibly abnormal veins. This will allow your doctor to see any abnormal areas or blockages.

After the test:

  • You may stay in the hospital for a few hours or several days, depending on your condition and your test results.
  • If you stay in the hospital after your test:
    • You will be checked often by nursing staff.
    • Your blood oxygen level may be monitored by a sensor that is attached to your finger or earlobe.
    • A cardiac (heart) monitor may be used to keep track of your heart rate and rhythm.
    • There will be a dressing or bandage on venography site. The dressing will be checked and changed by your provider or the nursing staff as needed.
  • Your provider will use your test results to make a plan for your care.

What can I do to help?

  • You will need to tell your healthcare team if you have new or worsening:
    • Chest pain or pressure, squeezing, or fullness in the center of your chest that lasts more than few minutes, or goes away and comes back (may feel like indigestion or heartburn)
    • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders, or in your back, neck, jaw, or stomach
    • Trouble breathing
    • Breaking out in a cold sweat for no known reason
    • Along with the previous symptoms, feeling very tired, faint, or sick to your stomach.
    • Hives
    • Increased pain at the site where an IV was inserted
    • Itching
    • Skin rash
    • Warmth, redness, or pain in your affected leg or arm
  • Ask questions about any medicine, treatment, or information that you do not understand.

How can I take care of myself when I go home?

Follow activity restrictions, such as not driving or operating machinery, as recommended by your healthcare provider or pharmacist, especially if you are taking pain medicines or muscle relaxants.

Call emergency medical services or 911 if you have new or worsening:

  • Throat swelling
  • Trouble breathing

Call your healthcare provider if you have new or worsening:

  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Sweating

What does the test result mean?

This test is only one part of a larger picture that includes your medical history and current health.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your result and any follow up care you may need.

If your test results are not normal, ask your healthcare provider:

  • If you need additional tests
  • If you need treatment, and if so what your treatment plan choices are
Developed by RelayHealth.
Acute Care Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-07-30
Last reviewed: 2014-07-31
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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