What is Transfemoral Angiogram?
An angiogram is a diagnostic tool used to detect narrowing, blockage, or bulging of blood vessels in the head, arms, chest, back, belly and legs. The test involves injection of a color dye through a catheter (long tube) inserted through a small incision in a blood vessel followed by X-rays to take pictures of the blood vessels across the body. An angiogram performed through the femoral artery, an artery in the groin region, is termed a transfemoral angiogram.
Procedure of Transfemoral Angiogram
Transfemoral angiogram is performed under local anesthesia. It takes about an hour to complete and is an outpatient procedure. Your surgeon makes an incision in your groin and inserts a catheter into the femoral artery, which is guided through the artery with the help of X-ray imaging. Once the catheter has reached the site to be examined, your doctor passes a colored dye and images of the flow of this dye are captured to detect blockages or clots in the blood vessels. The catheter is removed and pressure is applied on the insertion site to stop bleeding.
Complications of Transfemoral Angiogram
Like all procedures, transfemoral angiogram may be associated with complications such as allergic reaction to the contrast dye, bleeding, infection and pain at the incision site, and damage to the blood vessels. Complications that may be specific to transfemoral angiogram are local false aneurysm (bulged blood vessel due to injury), arteriovenous fistula (abnormal connection between a vein and artery) and pulmonary embolism (blockage of arteries in the lung by blood clots).