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Venography is a study of veins in the body. X-ray dye (contrast medium) is injected into the veins. This helps the blood vessels show clearly on X-ray pictures. X-rays of the veins are then taken.

Outline of human figure showing veins. Veins are vessels that carry blood throughout the body and to the heart.

Before the procedure

Follow any instructions you are given on how to get ready. This includes:

  • Follow any directions you’re given for not eating or drinking before the procedure.

  • Tell the technologist what medicines, herbs, or supplements you take. Also tell the technologist if you are or may be pregnant, or if you are allergic to contrast medium or other medicines.

During the procedure

  • You will change into a hospital gown and lie on an X-ray table.

  • An area of skin over the insertion site will be cleaned. Medicine may be put on the skin to numb it.

  • An IV (intravenous) line is put into a vein in the prepared area.

  • Contrast medium is injected through the IV into the vein.

  • You will be asked to keep still while X-rays are taken. The technologist will tell you when you can move.

  • The IV will be removed. The insertion site will be bandaged.

After the procedure

  • Drink plenty of water to help flush the contrast medium from your body.

  • Care for the insertion site as directed.

  • Call your health care provider if you have fever or redness, pain, or swelling at the insertion site.

Possible risks and complications

  • Infection or bruising around the catheter insertion site

  • Problems because of contrast medium. These include allergic reaction or kidney damage.

  • Inflammation of the vein (phlebitis)

  • Worsening of clotting

  • Skin damage because of fluid leaking from insertion site