A peripheral vascular angiogram (also called a peripheral arteriogram) is a diagnostic test that physicians use to visualize the blood flow inside an artery. This allows them to check for a blocked or narrowed artery that supplies blood to your legs or, rarely, to your arms.

Your physician will use this information to decide if you need angioplasty (and possibly stenting) to open a blocked artery. In some cases, they may feel that you need more invasive surgery to bypass the blockage.


Before the procedure, you will have an intravenous (IV) line started in a vein, usually in your hand or arm. This will be used to inject intravenous fluids and medications during your procedure. An anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will provide light sedation thru IV to help you relax as well as a local anesthetic at the surgical site as needed.

The physician will make the needle puncture in your groin. He will then insert a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into the femoral artery. You may feel a little pressure, but the process is not painful.

Your physician will then inject dye into the catheter to make your arteries show up clearly on x-ray. They will be able to see any narrowing or blockage in your artery. They may then choose to perform peripheral angioplasty with or without stenting or to complete the procedure and withdraw the catheter.

Following the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery room. After the anesthesia wears off, you will be discharged home the same day.