A venography, also known as a venogram, is an X-ray test that uses 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 more clearly on the X-ray images. A venogram may be used 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 Venogram Procedure
This noninvasive test is usually completed on an outpatient basis within the radiology department of a hospital. 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 may be run 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, the images are sent to a radiologist for analysis. A physician will then discuss the results of the venogram with the patient.