Vascular (Circulatory) and other specialised radiology examinations
These examinations are procedures where X-rays are used to investigate different parts of the body by injecting a special liquid into either your blood vessels or an organ.
Vascular examinations help us to find things out about your circulatory system. We will inject a special liquid into the part of the body that needs examining which enables the radiologist (a doctor who specialises in performing x-ray procedures) or a senior nurse to see and potentially be able to treat any problems that are found.
Some of the reasons why a person may need one of these examinations include:
- Investigation and treatment of pain that stops you walking
- Treatment to reduce the risk of blood clots
- Identification and treatment of complications after surgery
- Treatment of the symptoms of some cancers
- Fertility investigations
- Insertion of infusion lines to make treatment for long standing conditions more comfortable or safer
For many procedures you will be assessed by an x-ray nurse beforehand and then given an appointment. Some procedures are carried out as an out patient, however the majority are carried out as day cases so you will be able to return home on the same day. You will be admitted onto a ward about two hours before your procedure. Some procedures are performed as outpatients and others require a slightly longer stay. For the procedure you will be asked to change into an examination gown and lie down on the x-ray table.
It is really important that you tell the staff before the examination if you are, or could be, pregnant. If you have been admitted to a ward before your procedure you will return to the ward where the nurses will observe you for a number of hours. It is important during this time that you follow the instructions of the consultant and nurses. Most patients are able to go home the same day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Vascular or specialised radiology examination safe?
These examinations are commonly performed and considered safe. However there are possible risks associated with any examination and the consultant/ senior nurse will discuss both the benefits and risks with you beforehand.
How long will it take?
Because these procedures can change according to what the consultant finds it is very difficult to give any real guidance, however for an uncomplicated test you would expect to be away from the ward for about at least an hour.
What shall I wear?
For all of these procedures you will be asked to wear a hospital gown. It is advisable to come into hospital wearing clothes that are not too tight fitting so that you are comfortable on the way home.
I’m claustrophobic or don’t like small spaces These examinations are NOT performed in a tunnel or closed space like CT and MRI scans. It is much more like a normal x-ray machine but larger.
How do I get my results?
Almost all referrals are from your consultant who will contact you to discuss your result, if you do not get your results within the time you were told when the appointment was made you can contact you consultant’s secretary.
What happens if I do have a condition that needs treating?
Many conditions that are diagnosed in radiology can be treated there and then. If anything which needs urgent treatment is discovered at the time it will be discussed with both yourself and other specialists. Otherwise your own consultant will discuss with you any findings and possible future treatment.