Friday, May 1, 2015

Angiograms- mapping my Liver

Today, I went in for an angiogram, which is a test that uses Xrays, dye and fluoroscopy to take pictures of the blood flow through veins and arteries. Using this information, the doctors will map of the blood vessels in my liver. They will know which blood vessels go to the tumors and will block those coming from the tumors. The radioactive beads will be inserted into the tumors where they cannot get out and travel to other places in my body. They will work on the tumors from the inside. 

This procedure typically takes a couple hours and though I was given meds to help me relax, they need me to be awake enough to respond to questions and report what I am feeling. The hours ticked by. The doctors doing the mapping were getting frustrated. Apparently I have very complex vascular anatomy. Most people have 2 main vessels on each side of the liver, I have 4. Also, my blood pressure which normally runs low was trending even lower, so they ended up giving me 4 liters worth of boluses during the procedure. I had to pee! The doctors had the catheters in place and I couldn't be moved. I was told to 'just pee.' Well, I haven't peed my pants since I was a small child. I waited as long as I could with tears streaming down my face. When I could hold it no longer, I just peed and cried some more. My procedure started at 8:30am and I didn't end until around 3pm. Ugh! 

Next week I get to have another angiogram to ensure that the blood flow from the tumors is blocked. Hopefully, it will be easier than this was today!

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