Arteriogram and Possible Embolization

My son is scheduled for this on Tuesday, 2/16. I’ve been reading here (and trying to participate) and I see a lot of very scary things that could happen during this. What, specifically, do I need know and what questions should I be asking?

Hello Holly. It’s true… Any number of things can go wrong during angiograms and/or embolizations. That being said, I have had three angiograms, my grandfather had 2-3 of them while he was in his mid-70’s, numerous people on this site have had angiograms, and several have been through multiple embolizations. I never had any problems with any of mine, my grandfather is still alive and kicking 10 years later, and a small percentage of the people on this site have encountered any problems. This type of procedure tends to be more dangerous for older patients as their vessels become more rigid and less resiliant to healing after being punctured.

As for embolization, I have never had one myself, but know some people on this site have had as many as a couple dozen embos done and are still here to tell the story. I am certainly not trying to downplay anything, because these are certainly serious procedures, but the medical field is always advancing and procedures are always becoming easier, safer, and call for less recovery time.

Some questions that you may want to ask, just to help both you and your son know what to expect:

-Ask the doctor what method will be used to complete the arteriogram/angiogram as there are multiple methods that range from stitching, to pressure to chemical treatments, etc.

-Ask if the procedure will be done in-patient or out-patient (which is most common these days), what the anticipated recovery time is.

-Ask what medications to avoid before/after the procedures, though the doctor will most likely give you a list of things to avoid to help prevent possible clotting problems.

-Ask for potential side-effects of the procedures.

Good luck you both of you!


Hopefully my story makes you feel better. I had two very successful uneventful embolization/arteriograms. I went in, had the procedure, went home the next day. I felt very good except for some minor headaches and pains for a few days …but nothing tylenol couldn’t handle. :slight_smile:
I was treated with onyx glue.

The only pain I had after the angio’s was pain in the groin area where they went in. Plus being still for hours didn’t help. For the embolizations I also had the groin pain, and I had very bad headaches after my 1st one and then my normal headaches after the 2 nd embo. Everyone is different so its hard to say what will happen and all the things to ask. I have asked plenty of things and for half of them couldn’t get a straight responds b/c of each case being different and the fact that the doctors don’t know all the info about avms themselves. Hope everything goes great and I will be thinking of your son and the rest of your family!!! God bless!!

My daughter didn’t have any issues with either her embolization or her angiogram.