A venogram is a procedure to reveal what is happening in your veins. It involves injecting a medical dye, followed by an X-ray. The dye makes it possible to see any blockages in your veins. Should a blocked or damaged vein be identified, your treatment can be planned, which may include placing a stent or performing an angioplasty. The name itself comes from the words “veno,” which means related to veins, and “gram,” which means picture. So, essentially it is a test to produce a picture of your veins.
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What is it Like to Have a Venogram?
A venogram is not difficult to experience. You will remove any jewelry and your clothing and be given a gown to wear. You will be lying comfortably on a treatment bed. An area on your foot will be cleaned, and an IV line placed into a vein. The contrast dye is then injected. You may feel some sensation when the dye enters your veins, such as a flush, a headache, or nausea, all of which disappear within minutes. After the dye is administered, X-ray images are taken at intervals as the dye moves through the veins in your legs. A tourniquet may be applied to control the speed of the blood flow in your legs for test accuracy. Once the test is complete, the IV will be removed, and a bandage will be applied.
What Happens Next?
After your venogram, we will monitor your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. The pulse in your feet will be checked along with the color, temperature, and sensation you experience in your legs. Once this is over, most people can return to their usual activities.
Does a Venogram Hurt?
A venogram is a minimally invasive procedure with a short recovery period. Intravenous sedation is administered to keep you comfortable but awake, and a local anesthetic is administered in the area where the catheter is inserted. The discomfort is minimal due to the anesthetics, and most patients can return home immediately after the test.
After your venogram, avoid lifting anything heavy (over 10 lbs.), straining, or other physical activities that involve impact, such as running or cycling, for five days. You will need to avoid bathing in a bathtub, hot tub, or swimming in a pool until the puncture is fully healed. The bandage can be removed after three days, and this procedure does not involve any stitches. It is normal to have some bruising around the puncture, which may not appear for several days.