Best Alternative to Dialysis: Hot Water Immersion
Angiography is a diagnostic medical procedure that gives doctors detailed views of blood vessels and organs. It involves injecting contrast dye into the circulatory system to make arteries, veins and tissues appear clearly on x-ray images. There can be severe impact of angiography on health of the patients. This minimally invasive test can detect blockages, damage, and other abnormalities that may be contributing to health issues.
While angiography provides important diagnostic information, it does come with some potential side effects and risks to be aware of. Here is an in-depth look at the various short and long-term health impact of angiography.
Common Temporary Side Effects
For most patients, the side effects experienced from angiography procedures are mild and temporary. Some of the more common complaints include:
- Discomfort at the catheter insertion site – There may be bruising, tenderness, bleeding or swelling where the catheter tube was inserted, usually the groin. Applying firm pressure helps minimize bruising. Avoid vigorous activity for a day or two to allow healing.
- Headaches – Some people develop headaches after angiography due to the contrast dye used. These should resolve within 12-24 hours with over-the-counter pain medication and extra fluids.
- Nausea and vomiting – Upset stomach is a relatively common reaction, but should pass quickly. Let your care team know if vomiting persists so they can provide anti-nausea medication.
- Itching and hives – A small percentage of patients have an allergic reaction to the contrast dye, causing itchy rashes, raised welts or hives. Antihistamines and topical creams relieve these symptoms.
- Dizziness and fatigue – Feeling woozy, lightheaded or tired is common. However, these effects typically wear off within 2-6 hours as the contrast dye is filtered out and fluids/nutrients are replenished.
- Metallic taste – The contrast dye can temporarily leave a metallic or chemical taste in the mouth for a few hours. Sucking on mints or candy can help mask this.
- Flushed skin – Some patients get red or warm skin for a short period after the dye injection. No treatment is required as this resolves quickly when the medication is excreted.
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Signs of Potential Complications
While major complications are relatively uncommon after angiography, it’s important to watch for any concerning symptoms that could signal a more significant problem:
- Excessive bleeding or haemorrhage – If you experience heavy bleeding from the catheter insertion site that won’t stop, lie still and apply firm pressure while calling 911.
- Blood in urine – Passing blood clots or red urine could indicate internal trauma or damage. Prompt medical care is needed to determine the cause and treatment.
- Shortness of breath – Immediately report any difficulty breathing, wheezing or coughing as this could indicate an allergic reaction or other issues.
- Chest pain – Angina after the procedure could signify a heart attack. Call emergency services if you have acute chest pain.
- Irregular heart beat – Palpitations or fluttering sensations in the chest should be evaluated quickly to rule out heart arrhythmias.
- Back pain – Seek emergency care for sudden, severe back pain as this can accompany bleeding around the spine.
- Leg numbness – Let doctors know if you lose sensation or cannot move your legs properly as it may indicate nerve compression.
Don’t wait with concerning symptoms – call 911 or go to the ER. Prompt treatment is needed for any signs of significant bleeding, allergic reactions, heart issues, or nerve damage.
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Longer Term Considerations
Most side effects clear up within 24 hours once the contrast dye has been excreted from your system. However, some impacts can linger:
- Fatigue – It may take a week or more to fully bounce back from the procedure. Listen to your body and allow ample time for rest.
- Muscle aches – Discomfort from lying still for an extended period is common. Gentle stretching often alleviates residual soreness.
- Skin discoloration – Contrast dye can occasionally cause staining at the injection site or elsewhere is a common effect after angiography. Colour changes are harmless and typically fade over weeks.
- Damaged blood vessels – The catheter can sometimes scar or injure vessels. Poor circulation may require repair surgery or other treatment.
- Kidney dysfunction – Kidneys filter the dye, so multiple angiograms raise the risk of renal impairment over time. Doctors monitor kidney function.
- Radiation exposure – Frequent x-ray radiation may very slightly increase cancer risks years later. Discuss pros/cons of repeat testing with your physician.
- Psychological stress – Some patients experience lingering anxiety about health issues detected during the scan. Discuss concerns openly with your care team.
While not everyone has side effects, it’s important to listen to your body during recovery. Report any excessive bruising, unexpected bleeding, breathing issues, allergic reactions, or worrisome symptoms to your medical team. Stay hydrated, get ample rest, and avoid strenuous activity for a few days and also pay attention closely to the after effect of angiography. With proper post-procedure monitoring and care, you can get back to normal safely.
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