How should I prepare for an angiogram?

Your cardiologist or nurse practitioner will offer instructions on how to prepare for the angiogram.
  • If you take medications, such as blood thinners or drugs to manage diabetes, consult with your cardiologist about whether you should stop taking them before the angiogram.
  • You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours before the procedure.
  • Your blood count, kidney function and blood clotting tests may be performed beforehand.
  • You will receive medications to help you relax before the procedure begins.
Having an angiogram requires a visit to a hospital to a special room called the catheterization laboratory, or “cath lab.” The cath lab is equipped with an x-ray camera and a TV monitor (screen) on which the cardiologist views your heart and arteries.