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How does it work?
The medical team performing the test accesses the arteries of the patients using long tubes that allow us to reach almost any part of the body, these are called “catheters.” To do this, we need to puncture the artery or carry out a small surgical operation. Normally the femoral artery is used, in the groin. In some cases, the humeral artery can be used, located on the arm or armpit.
Using the catheter, a radiological contrast is injected that fills the arteries and allows us to see how they are working, using X-rays. The puncture is done using local anaesthesia, to avoid discomfort.
Generally, the test lasts from 30 to 60 minutes and once the scan is over, a compressive dressing is placed. Once the test is done, patients must rest in bed for somewhere between 6 to 24 hours, depending on each patient.
Like any type of surgery, arteriographies involve a series of consequences and possible complications, usually minor ones that disappear or improve over time.
- Bruising at the site of the puncture or incision. Localised pain.
- Risks associated with anaesthesia
- Complications derived from the use of radiological contrasts, such as allergic reactions
- Dissections or occlusions of the arteries used that may require treatment with anticoagulants or a surgical intervention
- Damage to nerves or veins due to the puncture hitting any of these structures during the test
- Problems related to the positioning of the device and possible movements
- In case of bleeding, transfusions of blood or blood derivatives may be necessary