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Fluoroscopy is a medical imaging technique that uses continuous x-rays to create moving images of the human body. The images are enhanced with the use of a contrast agent and are viewed on a monitor in real time. Fluoroscopy is used for a variety of exams and procedures.

Types of Procedures Performed Using Fluoroscopy

  • Esophagram- Examine the swallowing function.
  • Upper GI Tract Series- Examine the stomach and first part of the small intestines.
  • Small Bowel Series- Examine the small intestines.
  • Barium Enema- Examine the large intestine or colon.
  • Hystersalpingogram (HSG)- Examine the fallopian tubes to detect blockage.
  • Intravenous Pyelography Voiding (IVP)- Examine the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder.
  • Cystourethregram- Examine the bladder and outlet (urethra).
  • Myelogram- Examine the spinal canal.
  • Arthrogram- Examine the joints such as hip, knee, ankle or shoulder.
  • Spinal Injection- An interventional procedure to guide a needle to a specific location in the epidural space.

What to Expect During an Exam

Exams performed using fluoroscopy require the use of a contrast agent that is introduced into the body through injection, swallowing or an enema. Your physician will give you specific instruction on the contrast agent to be used and any other preparations for your exam.

Prior to the exam, a nurse and technologist will help you get situated on the patient table, explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.  Certain procedures will require a short recovery time, others could require several hours recovery time.

Impact of a Fluoroscopy

While fluoroscopy is considered a safe imaging technique, you will be exposed to x-ray radiation. The technologists are trained to use the minimum amount of radiation to produce the desired image.

Length and Preparation for Exam Depending on the type of exam using fluoroscopy, an exam generally takes between 15 to 60 minutes. Some preparation is required, though instructions will vary depending on the type of exam and the contrast agent to be used.When your physician schedules your appointment you will be given specific instructions. In some cases, you will need to be accompanied and arrange for transportation following the exam.

Getting Results

After your exam, a radiologist will analyze and interpret the images from the exam and prepare a report. The report will be sent to your physician who will share the results with you. To request a copy of the written report, please contact your physician’s office.