Angiogram Was Scheduled for /Monday of this week

Well this should be interesting…  let’s run some dye up through the femoral artery and then take some snap shots of the brain and dura and just see how well the embolization is holding.  I have every confidence that it worked and that its holding.

So we met a new guy for this procedure, a Dr. Rempel.  Nice, really nice guy.  Heck, all the teams I’ve run into at the University of Alberta Hospital have been really very nice.

When I asked the good doctor if I could get two 8 x 10s and four wallet sized copies, he took it in stride and did mention that I could get in touch with AHS (Alberta Health Services) and get them to burn a disk of my xrays.  This is something I will definitely be looking into.

Cerebral angiography, arteria vertebralis sinister injection.JPG
Above image borrowed from
the Wikipedia image bank


There are warnings that go with any sort of invasive procedure, and you should read them and pay attention, and take them seriously, especially when it comes to the recovery period..  For a Cerebral Angiogram there is something like a 0.5 percent of 1% chance of the procedure causing the creation of a small clot, which then in turn could cause some additional problems, like a small stroke.
Remember that my GP even said “that’s two!” when we met to discuss the stroke and embolization just a couple of weeks after the fact.  Two out of nine leaves seven…  and ratcheting up the count of the number of lives used isn’t going to be because of something so pedestrian as some glue that didn’t take.


The actual procedure is quite simple.  The They put a small cut in your femoral artery from a point in your groin and then slip in a small catheter or tube.  They use that catheter as guide  .They then thread a line in through this tube/catheter and up to your carotid artery, and into the vascular system in your brain.  They inject some ‘contrast’ or dye which the x-ray gear (I need to verify, but it looked like fluoroscope gear this time) can pick up and watch where it all goes.  And yes, when you stop and think about the simplicity of the statements being made, it is kind of scary.  The implication is that there is a direct connection from from your groin to your brain.  Not quite.  Your femoral artery tracks like all the major arteries and veins to, from and possibly through your heart.  Hmmm… interesting.  I’m going to dig out my copy of Gray’s Anatomy and have a look at how all the plumbing works.
the image that follows is a teaser to get you to stand by and wait for me to write this up properly.  The image is one of the shots taken on February 3rd and was provided to me by Dr. Michael Chow, the gentleman who fixed the problem and must be credited for saving my life and my quality of life.  😉

pre-treatment angio
Angio of the ‘pre-treatment state of my brain’s vasculature.

I had removed the images until I can do a bit of an edit on them;  there is way too much personal information on the images, far more than I want out there in the great wide world..  sorry.  The images should be restored later today or early tomorrow.
This is one of the images with the offending personal data redacted;  this is the angio taken prior to the embolization while the fistual was still a problem. I have put it back in a slightly larger format so you can see the real detail in what was happening in my brain.  I may reduce the size to make it easier to view in the context of this blog.

Consider this posting a ‘draft’ version.  I will return to write a description of the procedure and the events of the day.  I will then post an update on the meeting with the surgeon who did the repair work that we were checking today.

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