A venogram is an X-ray test that takes pictures of blood flow through the veins in a certain area of the body.
During a venogram, a special dye (contrast material) is put into your veins so they can be seen clearly on an X-ray picture. A venogram looks at the condition of your veins and the valves in your veins.
A venogram can show the veins in your legs, pelvis, or arm; the veins leading to the heart; or the veins leaving your kidneys.
Why It Is Done
Venography might be done to:
How To Prepare
Do not eat for 4 hours before a venogram. You may drink only clear fluids for 4 hours before the test.
Before a venogram, tell your doctor if you:
You will be asked to sign a consent form for this test. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A venogram usually is done in a hospital X-ray department by a radiologist and an X-ray technologist. A nurse may also be present.
Take off all jewelry and metal objects before the test. You will need to take off all or most of your clothes. You will be given a gown to use during the test. You may be asked to urinate just before the test begins.
You will lie on an X-ray table. A tilting X-ray table is usually used when studying the legs. Safety straps will help you lie still if the table is tilted.
For a leg venogram, you will be asked to relax the leg and keep it still during the X-rays. An elastic band will be put around your leg or ankle to make the veins of the foot fill with blood. The dye will be put in a vein (IV) on the top of your foot.
If the veins in your pelvis are studied, the dye may be placed in a vein in your groin. For an arm venogram, the dye will be put into a vein on the top of your hand or in your arm.
After the dye is put in, a series of X-rays is taken of each section of the arm or leg or pelvis. Your arm or leg may be placed in several different positions so that X-rays from different views can be taken. If your doctor is placing an intravenous (IV) line, X-rays will be taken as the line is put in to help guide it to the correct position.
After the X-rays are taken, your arm or leg will be raised. A sterile salt solution (saline) may be put into the vein to help flush out the dye. Heparin, a blood thinner, may be put into the vein to prevent a blood clot. A small bandage will be placed on the IV site. Drink extra fluids after the test to help flush the dye out of your body.
This test usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.
How It Feels
You will feel a quick sting or pinch when the numbing medicine is given. When the dye is put into the vein, you may feel a warm flush or have a metallic taste in your mouth.
You may feel like your arm or leg is going to sleep during the test. This goes away after the test.
There is some risk of problems with a venogram.
After the test
In rare cases, a venogram can cause an infection or a blood clot in the area studied. Call your doctor immediately if you have:
A venogram is an X-ray test that takes pictures of the blood flow through the veins in a certain area of the body.
Normal test results show that the dye moved quickly and evenly through the veins. Abnormal test results show that the flow of dye was slowed or blocked. This might mean that a blood clot, or another problem such as damage in the vein, is blocking or slowing blood flow.1
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
Arm or leg venogram
What To Think About
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