A venogram is an X-ray test that takes pictures of blood flow through the veins in a certain area of the body.

During a venogram, a special dye (contrast material) is put into your veins so they can be seen clearly on an X-ray picture. A venogram looks at the condition of your veins and the valves in your veins.

A venogram can show the veins in your legs, pelvis, or arm; the veins leading to the heart; or the veins leaving your kidneys.

Why It Is Done

Venography might be done to:

  • Check the blood flow in veins.
  • Find the right placement in blood vessels for medical devices such as filters.

How To Prepare

Do not eat for 4 hours before a venogram. You may drink only clear fluids for 4 hours before the test.

Before a venogram, tell your doctor if you:

  • Are or might be pregnant.
  • Are allergic to any medicines, contrast material, or iodine dye.
  • Have bleeding problems or take blood-thinning medicines, such as aspirin, heparin, or warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Have asthma.
  • Have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
  • Have had kidney problems.
  • Have diabetes, especially if you take metformin (Glucophage).

You will be asked to sign a consent form for this test. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form.

How It Is Done

A venogram usually is done in a hospital angiography suite by a vascular surgeon, RN and a specials tech.

For a leg venogram, you will be asked to relax the leg and keep it still during the imaging. An elastic band will be put around your leg or ankle to make the veins of the foot fill with blood. The dye will be put in a vein (IV) on the top of your foot.

If the veins in your pelvis are studied, the dye may be placed in a vein in your groin. For an arm venogram, the dye will be put into a vein on the top of your hand or in your arm.