What happens

Angiography is done in a hospital X-ray or radiology department. It usually takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours, and you can usually go home the same day.

Preparing for angiography

You may be asked to attend a hospital appointment to check you can have angiography.

This may involve:

If you decide to have a sedative, you'll be asked to not eat for a few hours before the test.

You'll also need to arrange for someone to take you home from the hospital because you will not be able to drive yourself home.

The angiography procedure

A patient lying on an X-ray table next to a doctor looking at an image of the patient's blood vessels on a screen
While having angiography you'll be asked to wear a hospital gown and lie on an X-ray table

For the test:

Sometimes treatment may be done at the same time, such as inserting a balloon or a small tube to open a narrowed artery. This is known as angioplasty.

After the procedure, the catheter is removed and pressure is placed on the cut to stop any bleeding. Stitches are not needed.

After angiography

After the test, you'll be taken to a recovery ward where you'll be asked to lie still for a few hours to prevent bleeding from the cut.

You'll usually be able to go home the same day, although sometimes you may need to stay in hospital overnight.

It may be possible to let you know the results of the test before you go home. However, the X-rays often need to be studied in detail and the results are not available for a few weeks.

While recovering at home:

You'll probably have some bruising and soreness for at least a few days.

Page last reviewed: 30 January 2023
Next review due: 30 January 2026