I’ve seen a number of individuals ask about the experience. I’m having a follow-up angio tomorrow, so I thought I’d record what happens and all of you can chime in on the differences in your part of the world.
Its 2+ years since the bleed and almost 2 years since the Gamma Knife procedure. Given the slowness with which the AVM shrinks using that form of treatment, this particular angiogram is an important one to determine if the thing is actually shrinking. I’ve had several MRI’s to keep an eye on it, but this will be the first angiogram since the treatment.
If you’re new to this, follow-up with your doctor on scheduling the angiogram when it needs to be done- allow at least 2 months to begin making calls to get it scheduled. Many hospitals book the equipment 2 or more months out and, if you wait, you may be disappointed that you have to wait longer than you wanted to.
So the angio department at Dartmouth-Hitchcock confirmed the appointment via mail, then I had to call them yesterday to get any pre-op instructions. No solid food after 3am tomorrow, then I can have clear liquids up until 7am (black coffee, tea with no milk, apple juice, water). We’re having a good dinner out tonight to take our mind off of things and to let me go to bed on a full stomach.
I need to be there at 8am for blood tests, with the actual procedure starting later in the morning.
You need to have someone who can drive you home as they won’t let you drive on your own. Its less about the anesthesia and more about the risk of bleeding (you can’t drive and hold pressure on the site simultaneously). For you who are shy, be prewarned- they insert the catheter near your groin- so, like your mother said- wear clean underwear!
I’d pack some loose clothes to wear- the site of insertion will be tender and you’ll have a bandage on it.
I’ll log in tomorrow after I get home to let you know how the actual procedure went.
If you’re interested in more information on angiograms, wikipedia.org has a good overview. I was surprised to read how long this procedure has been around.
Catch you later,