What is Fluoroscopy?

man laying on a fluoroscopy machine

Fluoroscopy is a form of diagnostic imaging that uses x-rays with the aid of a contrast agent to capture a moving image of an organ while it is functioning. In simpler terms, a fluoroscopy can be considered an x-ray movie. Fluoroscopic technology is often the most effective way to view the esophagus, stomach, joints and upper or lower gastrointestinal tract. We have created a guide for our patients on what to expect prior, during and after your fluoroscopy exam.

Prior to your exam:
It is important to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time. This will allow you enough time to fill out the necessary paperwork and change clothes. Also, don’t forget to bring the prescription from your physician to the exam. In addition, many fluoroscopic exams require patients to follow a specific diet in order to prepare for your procedure. You should strictly follow the diet that your doctor and imaging personnel assigned you.

As a general rule, women should always inform their doctor and radiologic technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant, or if they are breast-feeding prior to their exam. The referring physician, in conjunction with the radiologist, will determine if the procedure is appropriate or whether another diagnostic procedure should be recommended.

During the exam:
During your fluoroscopy exam, you will be asked to stand or lie on the examination table. A contrast material called barium will be used to coat the inside of the esophagus, stomach, colon, or rectum to produce a sharp, well-defined image of the area of interest. Depending on the area of interest, you may receive the contrast by swallowing it, as an enema or through an IV in your hand or arm. The radiologist will tell you whether to hold your breath or moves positions, so that he or she can get the best view of the area from different angles. Depending on the area and images needed, the appointment can last anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours.

After the exam:
The radiologist will interpret the results and will forward them to your physician with 24 to 48 hours of the exam. Your physician will then tell you the results. If there is any pain, redness or swelling at your IV site following the procedure, you should contact your physician immediately.

At Maryville Imaging, we are a full-service diagnostic center offering digital X-rays, as well as fluoroscopy, digital mammography, CT scans, bone density testing, ultrasounds and more. If you have any questions regarding your fluoroscopy procedure or any other imaging service, please call 618-288-4929!