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What is a Fluorescein Angiogram?
A Fluorescein Angiogram is a test done to study the retinal blood vessels and circulation in the eye. This test is performed by a specially trained photographer called a Certified Retinal Angiographer (CRA) and a medical eye doctor (Ophthalmologist). As part of this procedure, the doctor injects an organic dye (injectable liquid) into a vein in your arm. Then, the CRA takes pictures using a special computerized camera that shows any changes in the retina due to disease or aging. A Fluorescein Angiogram is a completely painless test.
Note: This test does not use x-ray technology. However, if you are pregnant, breast feeding or have had a previous allergic reaction to intravenous sodium fluorescein dye please be sure to tell the staff.
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What Can I Expect While at California Pacific Medical Center?
Before the Test
- Call (415) 600-3937 to schedule an appointment.
- Go to the Ophthalmic Diagnostic Center at 2100 Webster Street, Suite 219. Bring your insurance information with you to the appointment.
- You will be asked to sign a consent form stating that you understand the procedure you are having. This is a good time for you to ask questions and to share any concerns you may have.
- The CRA places drops in your eyes to dilate the pupils. It usually takes about 30 minutes for your pupils to dilate.
- The staff takes you into the photography suite and positions you in front of the camera.
- The doctor injects the contrast into your vein. You may feel a flushing/warm sensation.
- Then, the CRA takes a series of pictures of your eye every 1, 3, 5 and 10 minutes after the contrast injection.
- You will see a bright light from the camera during picture taking. It is very important to hold still while the pictures are being taken.
- The final results of your test will be given to you by your doctor (Ophthalmologist) either at your follow-up visit or by telephone.
- You may not drive after this test. Your eyes will remain dilated for 3-6 hours. Your vision will be temporarily blurred while dilated. You may wish to take a cab home or have a responsible adult drive you home after the test.
- Your urine will be bright yellow for up to 36 hours following the test.
- You may resume your normal activities 3-6 hours after the test when your eyes return to your normal vision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: During this test a specially trained photographer, called a Certified Retinal Angiographer (CRA), takes a series of photos to study the blood vessels and circulation of the eye. True or False?
Answer: True. A Certified Retinal Angiographer (CRA) takes a series of photos to study the blood vessels and circulation of the eye.
Question: Is this test painful?
Answer: A Fluorescein Angiogram is a completely painless test.
Question: Can I drive home after a Fluorescein Angiogram?
Answer: You may not drive home after this test. Your vision may be temporarily blurred while dilated.
Produced by the Center for Patient and Community Education in association with the staff and physicians at California Pacific Medical Center. Date: 9/03
Funded by: A generous donation from the Mr. and Mrs. Arthur A. Ciocca Foundation.
Note: This information is not meant to replace any information or personal medical advice which you get directly from your doctor(s). If you have any questions about this information, such as the risks or benefits of the treatment listed, please ask your doctor(s).
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