Angiogram tomorrow... Very nervous

So found out back in January that the gamma knife radiation I had 3 years ago didn't obliterate my Grade 2 AVM completely so I'm going for an angiogram tomorrow so they can send off the results of it to Sheffield to see if I can get the gamma knife radiation done again.

I've had angiograms before but I've never once been awake for them and I think I'm going to be awake for the one tomorrow :/ I'm absolutely dreading lying in bed for 4 hours not moving and the horrific migraines that occur in the few weeks after it :/

I just want to know does the procedure hurt? Will I be able to feel anything? And if someone could let me know how long they take that would be great too? :)

Thanks! :)

They will give you something to relax you and make you less nervous before the procedure, and they will numb the area thoroughly before the procedure. I've had several angiograms in the last 4 months and they never hurt. One was when I was out cold but all the others were when I was awake. For the ones when I was awake, I didn't feel any pain at all other than the stick when they put in the initial I.V. in my arm.
You can always ask for something for the anxiety to take the night before, as well, so that you're less nervous the night before and can get a good night's sleep. (Something to keep in mind if you have to have another one in the future...)
I much preferred the ones where I was awake. The time went by quickly probably because they gave me that cocktail of drugs to calm me down, and I didn't have to deal with the nastiness of coming out from under a general anesthesia with the disorientation and incredible thirst, etc. The waiting time afterwards wasn't awful, just boring.
The bad thing about angiograms is how sore my thigh was from them - but if you've had them before, you know all about that.
My angiograms all lasted about an hour, but it didn't seem that long while I was actually on the table.
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how un-traumatic an angiogram is - let your team know if you're feeling nervous or on edge, they'll be able to answer any questions and reassure you.

I’ve had several of these. The first diagnostic version without embolizations went pretty smoothly. Shirasaya is right, the lump at the groin area can be pretty sore at first. I also agree that being awake is much better vs. full on anaesthesia.

There is the weird experience of the doctor telling you that you’ll “feel the heat” in certain areas of your face and head during the different dye injections to certain corotids. I actually felt a squirt sound on some of the injections. I’m telling you this not to freak you out, but so that you can be prepared an less anxious. And not to worry, the drug they gave me, Veriset, I think, made the experience VERY relaxing. Staff are also there to verify that everything is working and that you are comfortable. See the first video on this playlist for a live look at a cerebral angiogram and what you can expect during the procedure.

Good luck with everything and be sure to ask for the collagen seal if they offer it. It helps protect against hematomas in the femoral/groin area.

I’ve had a few angiograms also. I didn’t really experience pain with any of them except when I got an embolization before my craniotomy. That was painful cause they actually go up the artery into your brain. Normally they just take pictures and view your brain and I’ve been told they pretty much stop down in your neck area, which doesn’t cause any of the brain pain. The actual groin incision area has never been painful and it doesn’t seem to take very long. Maybe 2 hours max. So it should all go very well for you :slight_smile: God bless!

No need for be nervous. Had 5 spinal angios. Only the embolism was painful, the normal checks: Not. Everything goes well !

I had twice experienced & awake. So, don't worry it doesn't gonna hurt :)

Remembering: The 5th spinal angio. I was sooooo nervous, and they gave me a red pill. Was laughing all the time during the angio. At the end we all laughed together.

i have had two angiograms whilst awake, they didn’t hurt at all so try not to worry. The worst thing was having to use a bed pan whilst lying down because they wouldn’t let me get up for 4 hours and they put so much liquid in me there was no way I wasn’t going to need the toilet at some point! :slight_smile:

Same here. No pain. The first one I was trying to help them hold pressure after the procedure was done. They had to make me stop. LOL...

My angio's were given with a dose of something that completely relaxed me. I drifted in and out. The time from prepping me to finish was about 90 minutes. It did not hurt but my groin was tender for a few days. The laying still for 4 hours was a bit uncomfortable, but tolerable. also had to have a 2nd dose of cyberknife radiation treatment 5 years after the first in order to completely obliterate the avm.
I trust everything will go well for you.

It does not hurt just strange feeling I was awake but freaked out when mine looked like a spider with 30 legs and so they had to do a main line iv to my heart which really hurts so I said either knock me out or I am going to knock you out...then they did but this time I am going back in May 7th I will be awake and wont freak out if I see the giant spider again

Good luck!

I have had 3. Two for checking where you are somewhat awake, but very relaxed and don't care. They numb the area where the tube is put in and you really do not feel anything. The angiograms did not bother me. You will great with these and it is their best way to see things.Oh, and it takes about an hour....I, evidently, was "chatty cathey" to my doctor the whole time, I tried to help them take out the tube they insert.....So, the meds they give you will certainly help with anxiety!!! Mine was done in Oklahoma City with Dr. Tytle. He is amazing!

Blessings to you and I hope your AVM goes away!!!

Hello everyone, thanks so much for all your replies! Between this angiogram and studying for college exams I'm only getting a chance to reply now :D
Unfortunately, during my angiogram on Wednesday, the didn't give me and medication at all to relax me. They just gave me the local anesthetic where they inserted the tube into my leg and that was it. I found it very painful when they were inserting the dye into my brain but it was probably because I was in no way relaxed at all! Also, when they put the dye in certain veins in my head,it caused me to feel completely numb down one side of my body, I genuinely thought I was having a stroke in the middle of the angiogram :L
The good news anyway is that I should probably only need one more dose of radiation from Sheffiled and the AVM should be then completely obliterated! I'm very excited, seeing as I've been battling this thing for nearly 15 years!

Thank you again for all your replies and good luck to everyone else battling an AVM! :)


Hey that's great news that they think one more dose will completely get rid of your AVM! Yay!! And so sorry that they didn't give you anything at all to relax you during the angiogram - yuck!
It's all behind you now, though, and I'm so happy for you that you got some really good news out of it all. Now you can focus on acing your finals (if you haven't already done so.)
Thanks for the update.