At Cardiovascular Medicine, we want to make care as convenient as possible. To this end, we offer several in-office peripheral vascular services in our state-of-the-art procedural lab. Our lab features one of the most technologically advanced vascular imaging systems available in an office setting. Using high-tech equipment, our experienced cardiovascular physician specialists can detect and treat peripheral vascular disease on an outpatient basis.
When to See an Interventional Cardiologist
Peripheral vascular conditions occur when your peripheral arteries are narrowed or blocked, resulting in a lack of adequate blood flow. This can lead to painful symptoms, as well as put you at risk for serious complications such as amputation or stroke. Therefore, if you are at risk for peripheral arterial disease or are experiencing possible symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment to explore what’s going on. We can assess:
To examine your peripheral arteries, we use angiography, an imaging technique that uses X-ray and contrast dye to see how efficiently blood is flowing. The contrast dye provides improved visualization so we can identify areas of narrowing or blockage. We use minimally-invasive procedures to detect abnormalities in your extremities and kidneys, including:
Peripheral Vascular Treatments
We are proud to offer peripheral vascular services in-office to treat your narrowed or blocked peripheral arteries. By providing these services in our office, our patients experience the convenience of a safe, accessible environment, along with a predictable schedule and a lower cost. Our procedures are minimally-invasive and allow you to return to your normal activities sooner. Discover more about our procedural lab treatments.
What is Renal Angiography?
Your kidneys play a vital role in keeping you healthy by filtering waste products and removing excess fluids. In order for your kidneys to work properly, they need adequate blood flow. When blood flow is reduced, it could lead to kidney tissue damage and increased blood pressure. If we suspect an issue with the blood vessels of your kidneys, we will recommend a renal angiography.
Renal angiography is a medical imaging technique that we use to assess the functioning of the blood vessels in your kidneys. Using contrast dye and X-ray imaging, the procedure helps us better see the blood flow and identify potential issues, such as narrowed or blocked arteries. The procedure can help us understand if any issues you are experiencing, such as high blood pressure, could be because of a kidney problem.
We use renal angiography to diagnose issues with the blood vessels in your kidneys, such as:
- Narrowing (stenosis)
- Bulging (aneurysm)
- Blockage (occlusion)
- Blood clots (thrombosis)
What to Expect
We will perform the procedure in our office. To prepare for renal angiography, we ask that you fast prior to the procedure, either for several hours before the test or overnight. You may need to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners. Your doctor will discuss specific instructions with you.
The procedure itself will take about 30-40 minutes. Before we begin, we will set you up with an IV and administer sedation to help you relax. We’ll also clean the site of the catheter insertion, either your groin or arm, and apply a numbing medication.
During the procedure, we will insert a thin wire into a large artery in the groin area or near your arm. This wire guides a thin tube called a catheter. Next, we inject contrast dye through the catheter and take X-rays of your arteries to identify areas of narrowing, ballooning, or blockages.
After your renal angiography, you will remain in the recovery room so we can observe your vitals and the injection site. You will need to lay flat and keep your arm or leg straight for several hours after the test. It's important to drink water to help flush the contrast dye from your body.
When it’s time to go home, you will need to have someone drive you.
After 24-48 hours, you should be able to resume most of your normal activities. We recommend avoiding strenuous activity or heavy lifting for a week.
Risks & Side Effects
As X-ray procedures expose you to a small amount of radiation, there are some risks with a renal angiography. The risk is minimal for most people. Radiation can cause birth defects, so we don’t recommend angiography for pregnant people.
Am I a Candidate?
If you have symptoms that point to renal artery problems, we may recommend a renal angiography. Symptoms of a potential issue with the arteries in your kidneys include:
- High blood pressure
- Elevated protein levels in the urine
- Swelling in your body's tissues
- A whooshing sound, heard through a stethoscope placed over your kidneys
- Worsening kidney function during blood pressure treatment
- Blood pressure that’s not responding to treatment
More on Renal Angiography
Uncommon Risks & Side Effects
Though renal angiography is generally safe, some complications can occur. They include:
- Nerve injury
- Blood clot
- Swelling caused by a collection of blood (hematoma)
- Damage to an artery or an artery wall
- Kidney failure from the contrast dye
- Allergic reaction to the contrast dye
Factors That Increase Your Risk of Renal Artery Concerns
There are certain factors that put you at higher risk for developing issues with your blood vessels. They include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being 60 years or older