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Inferior Vena Cavagram

Diagnostic Tests  |  Inferior Vena Cavagram


Your physician has referred you to the Diagnostic Services Department at United Hospital Center for an Inferior Vena Cavagram.

The purpose of an Inferior Vena Cavagram is to study the condition of the Inferior Vena Cava which is a blood vessel in the body. This involves insertion of a small tube or catheter into one of several blood vessels. This is usually done through a vessel in the groin area.

If you are currently not a patient in the hospital, you will be asked to report to the hospital registration department two (2) hours prior to your scheduled exam. After registration, you will be escorted to a hospital room where you will be prepared for the exam. an Intravenous (IV) line may be inserted into a vein in your arm.

After arriving in the Diagnostic Services Department, you will be asked to sign a consent form. You will then be placed on a radiographic table on your back. The radiologist will then numb the skin around the vessel area (usually the groin area) using a local anesthetic so, at this time, you will feel a little needle stick. After the area is numbed, another needle is placed in the vessel through which the radiologist will insert the catheter. You will not feel this catheter moving in your vessels because your vessels have no nerves. Once the catheter is in place, you will feel a warm sensation when the radiologist injects the contrast medium (x-ray dye), but that sensation will quickly subside.

After the catheter is removed, you will have a small hole in your artery. Pressure will be applied to that area so there is no bleeding. This is a little uncomfortable, but lasts only a few minutes. After the bleeding has stopped, the technologist will put a bandage on the site; no sutures are required.

Upon completion of the exam, you will be returned to your hospital room and there will be some restrictions. You MAY NOT bend the leg used during the exam. You MUST use a bedpan or urinal. You MAY eat and you will be encouraged to drink liquids. These restrictions are applied for four to six hours after the exam.

While an Inferior Vena Cavagram involves relatively minor surgery, it is not completely free from complications. Among the complications which may be encountered are: a bruise may form around the puncture site; damage may occur to blood vessels which require surgery; and/or reaction to the contrast medium. Rare complications arising from Inferior Vena Cavagrams have included kidney failure and heart attack. Rarer still, there have been reports of loss of life.

Your physician has determined the benefits from the procedure outweigh the risks and would aid in the diagnosis of your medical condition.

After midnight the night before your scheduled exam, DO NOT eat solid food. However, you MAY have clear liquids and take your medications until 6:00 a.m. the morning of the exam. DO NOT eat or drink anything after 6:00 a.m. the morning of the exam, except for medications which you may take with small sips of water, unless directed otherwise by your physician.

LENGTH: Procedure time approximately 2 hours (Total hospital time 4-5 hours)

If you are pregnant, or think you might be, tell your doctor and the technologist
BEFORE your exam.

(681) 342-1000 (please note the area code has changed)

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