For a planned angiography to begin, it is likely required to have an initial discussion on the health of the patient. The discussion shall include topics such as medical history of the patient, whether the patient has any allergies or if the patient is on any medication currently.
Some standard tests shall be performed, such as:
- Physical examination
- Blood tests to check the working condition of the organs, such as kidneys or liver
In some cases, sedatives are used to help in relaxing. If so, is suggested by the doctor, the patient shall be asked not to eat for four hours before undergoing the procedure.
Minor complications can be experienced after an angiography, but often serious complications are rarely found. Minor complications can be the following:
- Bruising or bleeding in the area where the incision was performed
- Infection in the area of incision
- Mild or moderate allergic reactions due to the contrast agent
Serious complications can be the following:
- Temporary kidney damage
- Heart attack
- Damaged blood vessel (which might require further surgery)
- A life-threatening allergic reaction due to the contrast agent (anaphylaxis)
Note: The serious complications mentioned rarely occur. To term in numbers, we can say that a stroke is experienced by an estimated 1 in 1,000 people due to angiography, and maybe 1 in 50,000 to 150,000 shall experience anaphylaxis.
The process of angiography is recommended only when the benefit of undergoing the procedure is considered to be exceeding any potential risk.