Lower extremity venography is a test used to see the veins in the leg.
Veins are not normally seen in an x-ray, so a special dye (called contrast) is used to highlight them.
Phlebogram – leg; Venography – leg
How the test is performed
This test is usually done in a hospital. You will be asked to lie on an x-ray table. A numbing medicine is applied to the area. You may ask for a sedative if you are anxious about the test.
The healthcare provider places a needle into a vein in the foot of the leg being looked at, so that an intravenous (IV) line can be inserted. The contrast dye flows through this line into the vein. A tourniquet may be placed on your leg so the dye flows into the deeper veins.
X-rays are taken as the dye flows through the leg.
The catheter is then withdrawn, and the puncture site is bandaged.
How to prepare for the test
You will wear hospital clothing during this procedure. You will be asked to sign a consent form for the procedure. Remove all jewelry from the area being imaged.
Tell the health care provider if you are pregnant, if you have allergies to any medication, which medications you are taking (including any herbal preparations), and if you have ever had any
How the test will feel
The x-ray table is hard and cold, so you may want to ask for a blanket or pillow. You will feel a sharp poke when the intravenous catheter is inserted. As the dye is injected, you may experience a burning sensation.
There may be tenderness and bruising at the site of the injection after the test.
Why the test is performed
This test is used to identify and locate
Free flow of the blood through the vein is normal.
What abnormal results mean
Abnormal results may be due to a blockage caused by blood clots, tumors, or inflammation.
What the risks are
- Allergic reaction to the contrast dye
- Kidney failure, especially in the elderly or persons with diabetes who take the medicines Glucophage or metformin
- Worsening of a clot in the leg vein
There is low radiation exposure; however, most experts feel that the risk of most x-rays is smaller than other risks we take every day. Pregnant women and children are more sensitive to the risks of the x-ray.