Venogram

  • A venogram is a procedure in which a doctor injects a contrast dye into the vessels to examine blood flow to confirm deep vein thrombosis diagnosis(1).

  • A venogram is a minimally invasive outpatient surgery that requires no hospitalization and allows for a quick recovery time(2).

  • Venogram employs contrast dye. Hence, any allergic reaction to the dye is possible(3). It is essential to inform the doctor if allergic to or sensitive to any drugs, contrast dye, or iodine.

What Is a Venogram? 

Veno means this medical procedure is related to the veins. On the other hand, gram refers to a record or a picture(4).

A venogram is a procedure in which a doctor injects a contrast dye into the vessels to examine blood flow through them(5) to confirm deep vein thrombosis or DVT diagnosis(6)

Additionally, a venogram can determine whether a vein problem results from a blood clot or another type of blockage.

Venogram for Diagnosis

A venogram can evaluate congenital venous issues or locate a vein for bypass graft surgery. This procedure may ascertain the source of edema or pain in a leg(7).

A venogram can help locate the origin of a blood clot that has gone to the lungs, such as in pulmonary embolism(8).

However, in the case of a renal venogram, the procedure is done to examine the veins causing kidney problems.

Since there are two basic types of blood vessels, angiograms are classified as either an arteriogram used to examine arteries or a venogram used to investigate veins. 

While sometimes the terms angiograms and arteriograms are used interchangeably, “venogram” is more specific.

Uses and Benefits Linked to a Venogram

Medical professionals use a venogram to diagnose by displaying images of the inside of the veins(9). It is beneficial in locating an appropriate vein for certain types of surgery. This minimally invasive procedure does not require hospitalization and has a brief recovery period(10).

Equipment Used in the Procedure

Medical professionals usually perform a venogram on a radiographic table equipped with one or two X-ray machine tubes and a video monitor(11). 

Fluoroscopy converts X-rays to video images that healthcare providers can view and monitor. 

Additionally, an intravenous line (IV), an ultrasound machine, and devices to monitor heart rate and blood pressure will be used.

Cost

The cost of a venogram procedure varies per state. However, the average price ranges from $1,253 to $3,909(12). 

Types of Venography

A venogram may be performed in a variety of ways(13):

  • Ascending venography: This term is used to describe venography that checks for DVT and determines where it is in the vein.

  • Descending venography: This type examines how effectively deep vein valves function.

  • Upper extremity venography: This venography examines the blood vessels in the upper This examines the neck and armpits for blockages, blood clots, or other vascular issues.

  • Vena vavography: The inferior or superior vena cava is examined using vena cavography. The vena cava is the vein that transports blood from a specific part of the body to the heart. Experts will explore the area for obstructions or other issues.

X-rays generate images to detect bones and internal organs issues using a small amount of radiation exposure. A venogram is a particular type of X-ray(14).

What to Expect Before, During, and After a Venogram 

A venogram is a minimally invasive outpatient surgery that requires no hospitalization and has a quick recovery time(15).

During a venogram, the doctor will numb the area where the catheter will be inserted. Often it is the foot, using a local anesthetic(16). A needle with an IV line is inserted into a vessel, and the dye is injected into the vein.

A needle is used to thread the catheter through during the procedure. When the sheath punctures the skin, pressure and pain are felt(17)

Local anesthesia helps prevent a patient from feeling pain during the procedure. It is given in the area where a needle or sheath would be inserted into the vein. 

Venograms are performed under twilight sedation, so individuals should expect to have forgetfulness after the procedure. Following the process, it will take at least two hours to allow the anesthesia to wear off completely.

Before the Procedure: Preparing for a Venogram

Before the test or procedure, ensure an awareness of the following(18):

  • The test or procedure’s name
  • The reason for the examination or procedure
  • What to anticipate in terms of outcomes and their significance
  • Risks and benefits of the tests and procedure
  • Potential adverse effects or complications of the procedure
  • When and where the test or procedure will take place
  • The name and qualifications of the medical professional who will conduct the exam or procedure
  • Options or alternatives in case the test or procedure are not available
  • When and how the results will be delivered  
  • Who to contact if there are concerns following the procedure
  • How much the test or operation will cost

Healthcare providers will explain the techniques to be used. If asked to sign a consent form authorizing the procedure, thoroughly read the document and ask questions if anything is unclear.

A patient or individual should inform the healthcare practitioner if they are experiencing an allergic reaction to any contrast dye. They should inform the provider if they are allergic to iodine or anesthetic medications.

In general, individuals about to have a venogram should:

  • Remove pieces of jewelry or other objects that may obstruct the exam.
  • Remove all clothing and wear a gown.

During the Procedure

Venograms may be performed as outpatient procedures or during a hospital stay. The performance of the test varies according to the individual’s condition and the guidelines of the healthcare professional. 

Suppose an individual is about to have a lower leg venogram. Before the test, the healthcare provider may use a pen to indicate locations on the leg where pulses are present. 

The individual should arrange themselves on the X-ray table. After cleaning an area of the foot, the healthcare provider will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in the foot.

Upon administration of the special dye through the IV line, possible side effects may be experienced. These side effects may include flushing, a short headache, nausea, and vomiting. 

Typically, these effects endure only a few moments. It is critical to notify healthcare professionals if having difficulty breathing, have itchy skin, or have hives.

The healthcare provider will take X-rays at predetermined intervals as the dye passes through the legs. They may apply a tourniquet to slow the blood flow on the leg.

After removing the needle, a pressure dressing will be applied to the puncture site by the healthcare provider.

After the Procedure

The medical team will monitor one’s heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure following the surgery. The healthcare providers will also check on the feet’ pulses and the legs’ temperature, color, and sensation.

They will check for redness, warmth, swelling, and pain at the injection site.

Perform routine activities and follow dietary restrictions as instructed by the healthcare physician.

Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Fluids can facilitate the removal of the contrast dye from the body.

Individuals should contact their healthcare professional immediately if any of these occur:

  • Discomfort, redness, or edema at the injection site.
  • Bleeding or other emphysema at the injection site
  • Fever of at least 100.4°F (38°C) or chills

Individuals may resume regular activity within a few days following most procedures.

Outpatient procedures enable continuity of care and a higher level of individualized patient care. These procedures have a lower infection rate.

Results Interpretation

If blood flows well through the veins, expect a normal result(19). It is definite to receive an abnormal development if the exam reveals a vein obstruction.

A vein blockage, blood clot, tumor, or inflammation in the veins may cause abnormal results.

A radiologist will analyze the images, and a physician specially educated to monitor and interpret radiology examinations. 

The radiologist will submit a signed report to the primary care physician or referring physician, who will discuss the pertinent findings.

A follow-up exam may be necessary. If this situation, the doctor will explain why. 

Occasionally, a follow-up exam is necessary to thoroughly analyze a potential problem using additional perspectives or specialized imaging technology. 

Additionally, follow-up assessments are frequently the most effective approach to determine whether treatment is working or not.

Risks of a Venogram

X-rays are used to perform a venogram(20). A modest quantity of radiation is used in these. It is essential to discuss the amount of radiation utilized and any potential dangers with a healthcare provider.

If pregnant or thinking of being pregnant, it is essential to inform the healthcare professional. Radiation may cause birth abnormalities if received during pregnancy.

Because contrast dye is employed, an allergic reaction to the dye is possible. Inform the doctor if allergic to or sensitive to any drugs, contrast dye, or iodine.

A venogram is not advisable if allergic to the special dye or have severe congestive heart failure or pulmonary hypertension.

Following concerns may arise which necessitate notifying the physician or other healthcare provider(21):

  • Kidney failure or conditions. Contrast dye can occasionally induce renal failure, primarily if certain diabetes medications are taken.
  • A bleeding disorder is taking a blood thinner, aspirin, or another medication that interferes with blood clotting.

  1. Who does a venogram? https://allfamousbirthday.com/faqs/who-does-a-venogram/#How_serious_is_a_Venogram 
  2. Venogram Procedure https://www.cvmus.com/vascular-procedures/venogram-procedure-what-expect-and-faq 
  3. Venogram https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/venogram 
  4. Venogram Procedure  https://www.cvmus.com/vascular-procedures/venogram-procedure-what-expect-and-faq 
  5. Venogram (Venography) https://www.mercy.com/health-care-services/heart-vascular/treatments/venogram
  6. Who does a venogram? https://allfamousbirthday.com/faqs/who-does-a-venogram/#How_serious_is_a_Venogram
  7. ibid
  8. Venogram https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/venogram#
  9. Venogram (Venography) https://www.mercy.com/health-care-services/heart-vascular/treatments/venogram   
  10. Venogram Procedure  https://www.cvmus.com/vascular-procedures/venogram-procedure-what-expect-and-faq
  11. Venography https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info/venography
  12. ibid
  13. Venogram https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/venogram
  14. ibid
  15. Venogram Procedure https://www.cvmus.com/vascular-procedures/venogram-procedure-what-expect-and-faq
  16. Who does a Venogram https://allfamousbirthday.com/faqs/who-does-a-venogram/#Is_a_venogram_a_surgery
  17. Venogram Procedure https://www.cvmus.com/vascular-procedures/venogram-procedure-what-expect-and-faq
  18. Venogram https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/venogram
  19. What is a venogram? https://www.mercy.com/health-care-services/heart-vascular/treatments/venogram 
  20. Venogram https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/venogram
  21. ibid. 

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