What is venography?
Venography is a word to describe the method to produce pictures of the channels made by veins. The image is called a venogram.
What happens when you have venography?
The test is done by a radiologist, a doctor who specialises in xrays. It is done in the main x-ray department of a hospital. In Nottingham patients come into hospital and go home on the day of the test.
Patients are asked to lie down on a special x-ray couch.
For an ascending venogram to look at the anatomy of the veins, a local anaesthetic followed by a small tube is put in one of the veins of the foot. An injection of a dye called contrast is then given. This can give a warm feeling.
As the contrast is injected, a special x-ray machine called a C-Arm is moved over the x-ray couch. The images that are obtained are analysed in a computer to produced the venogram pictures.
Some patients, especially those with deep vein disease, need to have descending venography. For this, a local anaesthetic is put in the groin. Using a duplex ultrasound, a tube is placed into the vein in the groin ( common femoral vein).
The x-ray table is then tilted so that the patient’s feet are lower than their head. As the contrast (dye) is injected, the radiologist asks the patient to take a deep breath and try and breath out, without letting air out of the mouth or nose. This is called the valsalva technique. It is the same method that mothers use to help push the baby out when it is being born.
A patient about to have a venogram in an
An example of a venogram showing the femoral and iliac veins on the right side