Before heart catheterization

How to prepare for an angiogram

Tell your doctor if you: 

  • Are allergic to the iodine dye used in the contrast material
  • Are allergic to any substances that might be used during the procedure, such as latex or talc. 
  • Are allergic to any medicines. 
  • Take any medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies. Some of these can increase your risk of bleeding. Some medicines can cause other problems during the test. Your doctor will tell you which medicines to stop before your test and which medicines you can take safely. Medicines to mention include:Blood-thinning medicine, such as warfarin, clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin.  Erection-enhancing medicines, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra).  
  • Are or might be pregnant. 
  • Have asthma or have ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). 
  • Have any bleeding problems. 
  • Have kidney disease. The contrast material used during cardiac catheterization can cause kidney damage in people who have poor kidney function. If you have a history of kidney problems, blood tests (creatinine, blood urea nitrogen) may be done before and after the test to confirm that your kidneys are functioning properly. 

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. 

Arrange for someone to take you home after the test. You may not have to stay in the hospital overnight.  

Eat a light breakfast the morning of the procedure. 

Take your medicines as directed by your doctor. You might stop taking certain medicines before your test and start taking them again after your test.  

Before the test, remove any necklaces, bracelets, rings, or other jewelry. You should also remove nail polish from your fingernails and toenails. 

Be sure to empty your bladder completely just before the test.