How to Prepare for a Catheter Angiography Test

You should inform your doctor of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to barium or iodinated contrast materials. Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.

You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You also may be asked to remove jewelry, dentures, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the X-ray.

Women should always inform your doctor and X-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an X-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.

If you are breastfeeding at the time of the exam, you should ask your radiologist how to proceed. It may help to pump breast milk ahead of time and keep it on hand for use after contrast material has cleared from your body, about 24 hours after the test.

If you are going to be given a sedative during the procedure, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for four to eight hours before your exam. Be sure that you have clear instructions from your health care facility.

If you are sedated, you should not drive for 24 hours after your exam and you should arrange for someone to drive you home. Because an observation period is necessary following the exam, you may be admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay if you live more than an hour away.