Programs & Services - Medical Imaging

Angiography > Exams & Procedures > Extremities (arms and legs)

This is an arterial study to look at the blood vessels that supply the extremities, whether it is the arms or legs, to look for any abnormalities. Local anaesthetic is injected into the skin to numb the area. A small, thin tube commonly referred to as a catheter is inserted in an artery, usually in the groin region. The catheter is then placed in a position to best view the blood vessels that supply circulation to the affected limb, (extremity). Contrast is injected through the catheter to better view the blood vessels.

Once the radiologist has viewed the pictures taken during the study, he/she will then press on the puncture site for about 10 minutes.

The procedure takes about one hour. You will be on bed rest for three hours after the procedure.


  • If you are diabetic, do everything you would normally do. Do not take your metformin. A blood test will be done once you arrive in hospital.
  • If you are not diabetic, do not have anything to eat or drink after midnight.
  • If you are taking aspirin, Coumadin, Tyclid, Plavix or Aggrenox please stop taking this medication one week before, but only with your doctor's approval.
  • Please take all of your medications with a small amount of water, especially heart and blood pressure medications.
  • If you have had a previous allergic reaction to contrast media (X-ray dye), please inform us and your doctor in advance. Your doctor may order a medication for you to take prior to your procedure.
  • You will need someone to take you home and stay with you overnight, if there is no other adult at home.