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Hepatic angiography is an x-ray study of the blood vessels that supply the liver. The procedure uses a catheter (thin, flexible tube) that is placed into a blood vessel through a small incision. A specially trained doctor called an interventional radiologist usually does the procedure.
Before the Procedure
Follow any instructions you are given on how to prepare, including:
Do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the test.
Tell the technologist what medications, herbs, or supplements you take; if you are, or may be, pregnant; or if you are allergic to contrast medium (x-ray dye) or other medications.
During the Procedure
You will change into a hospital gown and lie on an x-ray table.
An IV (intravenous) line is put into a vein to give you fluids and medications. You may be given medication to help you relax and make you sleepy.
A local anesthetic may be given to numb the skin near your groin. A guide wire is then inserted through the skin into the femoral artery.
Using x-ray images as a guide, the radiologist threads the wire through the arteries to the liver. A catheter is then inserted over the guide wire. The guide wire is then removed.
Contrast medium is injected into the artery through the catheter. This helps the arteries in the liver show clearly on x-rays.
You will be asked to keep still and sometimes hold your breath while x-ray pictures of your liver are taken. You may need to change position so that images may be taken from different angles.
When the test is done, the catheter is removed. Pressure is put on the insertion site for 10 to 15 minutes to stop bleeding.
After the Procedure
You will be asked to lie flat with your leg extended for 6 hours to prevent bleeding at the insertion site.
You may be able to go home that day, or you may be asked to stay in the hospital overnight.
Drink plenty of water to help flush the contrast medium from your body.
Care for the insertion site as directed.
Call your healthcare provider if you develop a lump or bleeding at the insertion site.
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