Spinal Angiogram

Hello All....

I was diagnosed with a spinal AVM (upper thoracic/lower cervical spine area) about 6 weeks ago. I am scheduled for a spinal angiogram 4-16-2010. Does anyone know what exactly that means? I know they will insert a catheter type instrument into the artery in my leg and work it up to my spine. But I was wondering what they will look for. Are they looking to see how big it is, the location of it, and also to determine that it is in fact an AVM? Once this angiogram is finished, will they also do another one if they determine embolization is required or will they just go ahead and do it the first time? They have told me I will be under conscious sedation for the procedure, but what about when I get home? Will I be in pain and will they send me home with pain meds?

Thanks for any input!!

God Bless...:)

Hi there Tasha.
They want to see how the blood flows thru your AVM. How many feeder arteries there might be and also about the draining veins. It will give them a clear picture of the AVM with the dye in it and yes, about the size and exact location of it compared to your spine and nerves, etc.
I’m not sure about the embolization part- but they should have told you if this was a possibility because you would need to consent to that treatment.
Your leg will be sore afterwards and you need to lie quietly for the next day after. I’m sure they will give you some pain meds for home.
I’'m sure there are others on here who have had a spinal angiogram and will let you know more of what to expect.
All the best to you. It’s such a tough thing to hear that you have an AVM and scary too. Just try to take it all one step at at time and ask LOTS of questions.

Thank you so very much, Joy!! As far as anyone telling me anything, I have very much had to educate myself, I’m afraid! This last 6 weeks has been so confusing! No one has told me anything as to what they are going to do! All I know is that I have had to fight for myself. I have been in so much pain that I had to ask my neurologist to refer me to a pain management Dr. I know that there are Drs who are afraid to prescribe pain meds but there are also those of us who can’t make it through the day without them! He did refer me to the pain Dr and he started me on Lyrica which has worked for the burning and tingling in my hands, arms, shoulders and back. But I do also have low lying cerebellar tonsils (4mm) and that on top of this AVM creates so much pressure and pain that it is difficult to function at times. So my other question is this: I signed a contract with the pain Dr that I would not get pain medicine from anyone but them…so do I need to call them and ask them to prescribe the pain relief for me after the angiogram or do I ask the interventional neuroradiologist? All of this is so new to me and I don’t want to make anyone mad or break any rules but I honestly don’t even know what the rules are!!

Thank you for responding…You have told me more than any of the Drs have and I really appreciate it…

You are on the right track. This is exactly where you need to be. I have the same thing done and the results were very good. Please keep me updated on your progress. The biggest thing with these angiograms is your groin is sore for about a month I have a record of 9 angiograms between my AVM repais and heart problems. :slight_smile: