Blockage in carotid artery
Carotid angiography is an invasive imaging procedure that involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in the arm or leg, and guiding it to the carotid arteries with the aid of a special x-ray machine. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter so that x-ray movies of your carotid arteries (the arteries that supply your brain with oxygen-rich blood) are taken. This procedure is considered the "gold standard" for imaging the carotid and cerebral vessels.
Your doctor uses carotid angiography to:
- evaluate or confirm the presence of narrowing or blockage in your carotid arteries
- determine risk for future stroke
- determine the need for further treatment (angioplasty or surgery)
- perform a minimally invasive procedure, carotid stenting, to fix the narrowing in the carotid artery
- The catheters and sheath are removed.
- You will need to be on bedrest for several hours.
- You will need to drink plenty of liquids to clear the contrast material from your body. You may feel the need to urinate more frequently.
- Your doctor will tell you if you are able to return home or will need to stay overnight. In either case, you will be monitored for several hours after the procedure. You will need a companion to drive you home.
- Treatment, including medications, diet and future procedures will be discussed with you prior to going home. Care of the wound site, activity and follow-up care will also be discussed.
Carotid angiography takes about one hour to perform, however it may take longer from preparation through recovery.
Please ask your doctor if you have any questions about carotid angiography.