(A venogram is an x-ray test that takes pictures of blood flow through the veins in a certain area of the body.)
During a venogram, a special dye (contrast "visipaque") is put into your veins so they can be seen clearly on an X-ray picture. A venogram looks at the condition of your veins and the valves in your veins.
The x-ray table is hard and cold, so you may want to ask for a blanket or pillow. You will feel a sharp poke when the intravenous catheter is inserted. As the dye is injected, you may experience a burning sensation for a short period. There may be tenderness and bruising at the site of the injection after the test. Notify your doctor if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications, aspirin, or other medications that affect blood clotting.
A venogram involves the placement of a plastic tube (catheter) into a vein in your leg. Some numbing medicine will be injected in the skin over the vein that will be used before the catheter is inserted. Intravenous medications may also be given to you to make you more comfortable and relaxed. This is known as moderate sedation. Once the catheter has been placed into the vein, it will be advanced through the blood vessels. During this time, x-ray contrast material will be injected through the catheter and x-ray pictures taken. You may be asked to hold your breath for several seconds as these pictures are taken. During the injection of x-ray contrast material, you may experience a warm feeling or a strange taste in your mouth. Both of these sensations are temporary and will go away soon
Depending on the results of the venogram, an angioplasty and stent might be placed. At the completion of the venogram, the catheter will be removed and pressure will be applied to the insertion
site until the bleeding has stopped. To help prevent bleeding, it will be very important for you to lie flat
in bed without moving. If the venogram shows an area of blockage, an angioplasty may be performed in an attempt to open up the area. This involves the insertion of a special tube, which has a tiny deflated balloon. The balloon is positioned at the site of the blockage and is then inflated. Following an angioplasty, if there still is not enough blood flow through the area of blockage, a metal mesh tube (stent) may be placed at the site. The stent will widen the vessel and improve the blood flow.