What should I expect with an angiogram?

Hello,

Was diagnosed with a “possible AVM” in my frontal lobe (it’s above my right eye). 3 different neurologists have confirmed that I need an angiogram for more details about what exactly it is before even discussing possible treatments (which makes sense to me). They’ve all told me that even if it is an AVM, there is no sign that it’s bled before, and so even if it is an AVM, they wouldn’t treat it. “But it would be good to know what’s going on” so they say.

I’m scheduled for an angiogram on Wednesday. The doctor assures me that it is a painless procedure, but there is some possibility that it will set off a migraine afterwards (I’ve had several before…no desire to have another one…). However I have a friend that went through an angiogram and told me that it was intensely painful.

Would just like to hear about anyone else’s experiences. Was it painful during the procedure? What about afterwards? How long did recovery take? They are doing the procedure at 7:30am, but I have to stay for about 6 hours afterwards for “observation”, in case of migraine or bleeding (that’s their explanation, anyways). I figure there will likely be tenderness in my leg after they do the procedure; how long should I expect that to last? Anyone actually had migraine after this procedure?

Anything about your experiences would be great :slight_smile:

My first angiogram i told them that i did not want to remember anything and i wanted to sleep so they gave me slightly more and i fell asleep before anything happened and woke up as they were moving me back to recovery. he was able to put the stop in my artery so i only had to lay in bed for 6 hours after. my groin was painful the day after and i couldnt do stairs but it mostly felt like a bad bruise.
for my second angio the day of my gamma i was at a different hospital and because i had already had a small amount of sedation for the halo they refused to give me any more even though that was a few hours earlier and was wearing off. i remember most of this one and i remember it being quite painful. the dye injections hurt in my head, it felt like a lot of pressure. when he was done he made several attempts at putting the stop in and that hurt a lot! eventually he gave up and i had to lay down for 8 hours after but it was fine because the 8 hours were done as soon as i was done with the gamma and i wasnt exactly in the mood to walk around in between anyway. but with the second angio i feel like my groin recovered much faster and i could do stairs after and it wasnt as tender, i think it was bc there was no plug.

i dont think i had too bad of a headache after the first one, and i had a headache all day for my gamma but i also had the halo screwed into my head so idt it was just from the angio.

i think the worst part was not being able to go to the bathroom while i was laying down because i always go at a certain time and i couldnt use the bed pan :confused:

If you lay as still as possible after the angiogram you should be okay. Don’t try to move around too soon. The laying still will help prevent the migraine and help your groin close. When you do try to get up, do so very slowly and maybe even in stages.
I have had a migraine after one but it was sue to me wanting to get back on my feet too soon.

I know it’s hard to lay still for that long but it is the best thing for you.

Hi Kiera, well I am glad that there has been no bleed and I wish you the best with the angiogram. I wish I could say that the angiogram is not a painful process but it can be. For the most part it isn’t though just usually when the catheter is put in. And the fact that you have to lay still for 6 hours is not comfortable as well. There is a few reasons that you have to lay flat, one it is to monitor your vitals and make sure there are no side effects from the procedure and the other is because a major artery is used and a clot needs to form so you don’t bleed out.
There was a forum not too long ago where Jake explained the process very well. Please understand though that it maybe different from person to person or from hospital to hospital. Hope it helps and good luck with everything.

http://avmsurvivors.ning.com/forum/topics/my-first-cerebral-angiogram

Hey Keira,

It won’t be painful. They will giv you anesthetic before the procedure. and yeah u hav to lay in bed for about 6 hours. I remember of wanting to go to the toilet badly but that’s all. You don hav to stay in the hospital. And I didnt hav any migraine after that… Just remember to bring a good book. If ur wearing specs… wear contact lens if u wan to see the x ray… they willl wan you to take off ur specs…

You might experience a slight flush of hot wave when they pump the dye. you might see some stars. Well I saw stars and some vein like thing… its like lightning before my eyes… and nothing to worry about… Hav a great angio.

It shouldn’t scar, it might bruise or discolour the skin. i still have a bit of discolouration around the area (had it done in October)but i cant prove that it was caused from the angiogram (i tend to walk in to a lot of things). and yeah it is a similar feeling with the dye. you may also see flashes of light which is entertaining at least. The laying still for that long isnt bad if you can sleep. hopefully you willnt have the feeling to urinate the entire time. Anyway best of luck on Wednesday. Let us know how it goes.

yeah they start an iv with saline i think it is and may keep it running the whole time. Anyway because you cant eat or drink past a certain time the night before it ran right through me so i had to pee the entire 6 hours and couldn’t “will” myself to pee in a pan laying down. just not fair being a girl sometimes. Good luck.Kiera said:

WAIT.
Are you saying some of the stuff they GAVE you makes you have to pee?
Or hoping that i don’t drink too much in the morning and then have to pee later? I am like…a camel…so not too worried if this is the case. Them giving me something is another story entirely. I assume they will probably give me “fluids” via the IV which will not help the situation.

I’ll report back once it’s done…hopefully with an answer! :slight_smile:

Jillian Smyth said:
It shouldn’t scar, it might bruise or discolour the skin. i still have a bit of discolouration around the area (had it done in October)but i cant prove that it was caused from the angiogram (i tend to walk in to a lot of things). and yeah it is a similar feeling with the dye. you may also see flashes of light which is entertaining at least. The laying still for that long isnt bad if you can sleep. hopefully you willnt have the feeling to urinate the entire time. Anyway best of luck on Wednesday. Let us know how it goes.

Hi…I have had over 7 Angiograms! I have a few scars in the area where they entered, but that’s all. There is tenderness when it’s over but I have never felt any “pain” as it has been mentioned to you. Everyone is different, but do not get scared and think of pain…it’s nothing like that! You will be fine! Think possitive! I have another scheduled in August and I know not to worry that it might hurt. Hang in there. :wink:

I had an angiogram last year, just to make sure my AVM wasn’t growing back. Unfortunately, I have to say it was painful, and an overall horrible experience. They told me too it wouldn’t hurt, but it did. Every time they injected that dye in it hurt a lot, then I could feel it rushing to my brain, and it would burn my whole head. Not only that, it was delayed like 4 hours, so I ended up being in a cramped hospital room for nearly 10 hours.

Anyway, hopefully yours will be different. It seems the majority say it was painless, maybe it was just my doctor.

good to hear it went well for the most part. Glad to hear that it is not an AVM and can be left alone.

My recent angiogram went well (I have had more then ten angios from 1988-1998); bled in 2012 after 23 years post helium ion radiosurgery. The good and bad news is that my AVM is quite small but treating it with radiation poses too much risk of injury. I was on a ventilator and in a coma after my first bleed and understand how dangerous all of this can be! If Drs. Rigamonti and Kleinberg at Johns Hopkins believe it is best to not retreat I think it is best to believe them as they are highly regarded and Hopkins is ranked Number 1. It is challenging for me to not always be striving for a cure - it is good for me to just relax about it, else it can be overwhelming!

Hi Tangler,

Hope yours went well today!