Fluoroscien Angiography Procedure
A Fluorescein Angiogram is a procedure in which a chemical based dye is injected into the body’s circulation system. In seconds this dye will enter the blood vessels of the eye. In conjuction with the dye, a special camera allows the blood vessels of your eye to become visible. These images are then examined by your ophthalmologist to diagnose your condition. In normal conditions, the dye will not penetrate through the blood vessels and into the surrounding tissues of the eye. However, in certain eye diseases, the dye will leak out of the vessels due to the damage caused by certain eye conditions. Some of the conditions that are monitored via this process are Diabetic Retinopathy and Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
Procedures for IVFA
The entire procedure takes approximately one hour. Shortly after you register with the receptionist, one of our technicians will apply drops to your eyes to dilate your pupils. In order to ensure that your eyes are completely dilated, you will be asked to wait for about half an hour. Full dilation of the eyes is required in order to obtain usable pictures from the fluorescein angiography.
As your eyes are dilating, you will be asked to enter a diagnostics room where some tests will be performed. After this testing, you will be asked to move to another diagnostic machine where some preliminary photos of your eyes will be taken. Then one of the doctors or nurses will perform the injection of the dye into your hand or arm.
The photography technician will take pictures of your eyes using a specialized camera. Pictures are taken at regular intervals so that the flow of the dye through your blood vessels is captured. This takes about 15-20 minutes. The results are processed immediately and examined by your ophthalmologist.
Potential Side Effects
In general, the Fluorescein Angiography is a safe test. Some minor side effects of the procedure may include:
Redness or slight bruising at the site of the injection
A feeling of nausea 30-60 seconds after the fluorescein injection
A slight tan colour to your skin and orange coloured urine, which usually lasts for several hours. Drink lots of water to flush the dye out of your system.
Blurriness in vision, due to staring at a bright light from the machine
Some severe reactions to the dye such as hives, asthmatic symptoms, and edema (excess fluid in the tissue) in the lar¬ynx (throat area) can occur but are rare. Myocardial infarction, respiratory and car¬diac arrest may occur but are also rare
Benefits of the Procedure
A Fluorescein Angiogram is an important part of your eye exam, and aids your ophthalmologist in maintaining the health of your eye and treating eye diseases in a number of ways including:
Detecting certain eye diseases that cannot be observed during a regular retinal examination.
Allowing your ophthalmologist to determine which specific laser or surgical treatment is the safest and most effective for your eye.
Post laser or surgery, helping your ophthalmologist monitor how well your eye responds to treatment, and whether or not additional treatments may be of benefit.
Monitoring any changes in the health status of your eye over a period of time.
Providing a permanent record of the structure and blood circulation of your eye, to which your ophthalmologist can refer if you develop any changes in your eye.
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