How should I prepare for optical coherence tomography?

Optical coherence tomography is usually performed during an angiogram procedure, so the preparations are the same. Your cardiologist will give you detailed instructions, but here are some general guidelines:

Your doctor will order lab work in advance, including tests to check your blood count, kidney function and how quickly your blood clots. Ask your doctor which medications you should take the morning of the procedure and which you should stop, and when. This is especially important if you take blood-thinning medications, such as Plavix, Coumadin, or aspirin. Generally it is recommended that aspirin and Plavix be continued, while Coumadin be held three to seven days prior to the procedure. However, be sure to check with your cardiologist for directions specific to you.If you take insulin or other diabetes medications, talk to your doctor in advance about how to adjust your medications. Be sure to let the staff in the cardiac catheterization laboratory know that special steps may be needed to monitor and control your blood sugar levels.Do not eat anything after midnight the day of your procedure. Ask your doctor whether you may drink clear liquids several hours before the procedure. If you are a diabetic who uses insulin, you may be instructed to take half the usual dose of insulin and eat a light breakfast, but check with your doctor.If you are allergic to iodine, x-ray dye or shellfish, let your doctor and the cardiac catheterization laboratory staff know in advance. You may need to begin taking medications beginning the day before the procedure to limit the chances of an allergic reaction.Bring all your medications with you to the hospital.Wear loose-fitting comfortable clothing and flat shoes. Remove jewelry, make-up and nail polish. Leave other valuables at home. You may bring your glasses, hearing aids and dentures. Arrange to have someone bring you to the hospital and drive you home. You will not be able to drive after the procedure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.