An x ray taken of the blood flow through the veins in certain area of the body is called venogram. This is done by inserting a certain special dye into the veins so that it can be seen clearly on the X ray image. This is done to study the condition of the veins and the valves in veins.
Venogram can show the veins in the legs, arm, and pelvis, veins leading to the heart or leaving the kidneys. The patient is advised not to eat at least four hours prior to venogram. You may drink only clear fluids for four hours before the test. It is better for the patient to apprise the doctor on certain things as given below before a venogram is done:
The patient is required to sign a written consent for this procedure. Venogram is done in a hospital x ray department by a radiologist and an x ray technologist. A nurse is also present. The patient is asked to remove any jewelry before the test. Most of the clothes need to be taken off. A gown is given to the patient to wear during the test. The patient is advised to urinate just before the test begins. The patient is made to lie on a table and a tilting x ray table is used to study the legs. The patient is fitted with safety straps to lie still even if the table is tilted.
In case of a leg venogram, the patient is asked to relax the leg and keep it still during the x ray. An elastic band is put around the leg as this enables the veins of the foot fill with blood. The dye is inserted into the vein on the top of the foot. If the veins of the pelvis are to be studied, the dye is placed in a vein on the groin and for an arm venogram; the dye is put into the vein on the top of the hand or in the arm. After inserting the dye, x ray from different angles/views are taken.
After the x rays are taken, saline is inserted into the vein to help flush out the dye. To prevent blood clot, sometimes a blood thinner is put into the veins. The duration of the procedure is about 30 to 45 minutes. You will feel a quick pinch when medicine for numbness is given. A warm flush or a metallic taste in the mouth may be felt when the dye is put into the vein.
Venogram has certain risks which includes allergic reaction to the dye, infection or damage to the veins, deep thrombosis of the veins in very rare cases, kidney problems, and damage to cell tissue due to radiation. It is better to call the doctor immediately if after the test the patient has a fever or suffers increasing pain, redness and swelling in the arm or leg. As for results of venogram, if the dye moves quickly and evenly through the veins, the results are normal. If the flow is blocked or slowed, then the results are abnormal. This means, there is a blood clot or some other problems such as damage in the vein.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: August 7, 2020