Stenting & Venograms
Stenting is a common treatment method used to expand arteries within the lower extremities affected by peripheral artery disease (PAD). This condition involves blockage, hardening or narrowing of blood vessels throughout the body as a result of a buildup of plaque. This reduced or blocked blood supply can significantly increase a person's risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
A stent is a wire mesh tube that can help keep affected arteries open once they have been expanded during a balloon angioplasty procedure. Stents are placed over a catheter that is then guided to the affected artery, where it will expand and remain in place after the catheter is removed. Over time, the inside lining of the artery will grow over the metal surface of the stent.
A venogram, also known as a venography, is an X-ray test that uses a a contrast dye that is injected into the body, to show how blood flows through the veins. The dye allows the veins to be viewed clearly on the X-ray images. A venogram may be used to view the veins and blood flow in certain areas of the body to:
- Locate blood clots
- Evaluate varicose veins
- Find a vein to use for a bypass procedure
- Guide a physician when placing a medical device in a vein
The patient will be positioned on an examining table and the physician will inject the patient with the contrast dye through the use of an IV. A series of X-rays will then be taken. The test takes between 30 and 90 minutes to complete. After the procedure, fluids are often ran through the IV to remove the contrast material from the veins. Patients are instructed to drink plenty of fluids for the next day to continue to flush the dye from their system.
Risks of a Venogram
While a venogram is considered a safe procedure, there are certain risks associated with the procedure which may include:
- Allergic reaction to contrast dye
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Damage to blood vessels
- Kidney damage
After the venogram is completed, a physician will then discuss the results with the patient.