A venogram is a minimally invasive procedure that emits a small amount of X-ray to assist your specialist with visualization of the veins, particularly in the lower extremities (legs). Typically, we use the venogram to diagnose Deep Vein Thrombosis and other common vein disorders. A venogram is one of the more accurate tests used for diagnosing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Occasionally, the venogram can help diagnose other health issues as well as finding an appropriate vein for a bypass.
Types of Venogram
Depending on the symptoms being experienced by the patient and the reason for the venogram, there are several ways it can be performed:
- Ascending venogram for DVT diagnosis
- Descending venogram to determine how the deep veins are functioning
- Upper extremity venogram – less commonly looking for clots in the arms or neck
- Venacavography to monitor the vena cava which transports blood to the heart
How a Venogram Works
You will not be able to eat or drink for a period of time before the procedure. Otherwise, preparation for the procedure is straightforward with few requirements.
A special contrast dye is injected into the appropriate vein, via needle or catheter. The dye is visible on X-ray and allows the vein specialist to evaluate the size and condition of the veins.
The venogram will be performed in a specially outfitted radiology suite. Multiple X-rays will be taken throughout the procedure and you may be asked to move into a different position to offer your cardiologist a better view of the blood vessel. You are discharged on the same day of the procedure.
Risks and Considerations of a Venogram
- Minor discomfort from needle insertion
- Minimal exposure to X-ray radiation. Pregnant women should discuss this with their cardiologist
- Potential of a very rare allergic reaction to contrast dye
- Low risk of an infection at the dye injection area
- Very rarely, a venogram may cause DVT
The venogram is both a very accurate and important testing method for several potential vein issues, not least of which is DVT. Schedule a consultation with one of our vein specialists to learn more.