Fluoroscopy is a popular imaging technique used to diagnose diseases or to guide radiologists during treatment procedures. Fluoroscopy allows radiologists to gain a detailed look inside the patient’s skeletal, digestive, urinary, respiratory, and reproductive systems to gain insight and help diagnose illnesses or abnormalities. Below, we take a look at everything you need to know about fluoroscopy including what it is, what it’s used for, and how long it takes.
As mentioned, fluoroscopy is an imaging procedure that creates a continuous X-ray image on a computer monitor, similar to an “x-ray movie.” During fluoroscopy, an X-ray is passed through the body, then a detailed image is transmitted to a monitor so that detailed movements or images of the body can be seen.
Fluoroscopy is used in many types of examinations and procedures, such as barium X-rays, IV catheters, angiograms, placement of cardiac devices in the body (such as stents), orthopedic surgeries and biopsies - just to name a few. As we briefly noted above, a fluoroscopy exam may be used simply as a diagnostic procedure or as part of an image-guided treatment procedure.
How do I prepare for a fluoroscopy exam?
Your doctor will explain the procedure to you, which is your chance to ask questions and share any concerns. Write a list of questions and concerns you have ahead of time so you remember to ask them. If you are having a procedure involving contrast dye, your doctor will ask you to share whether you have ever had a reaction to contrast dye or iodine.
What happens during fluoroscopy?
Fluoroscopy is usually done in an outpatient setting, but may require a hospital stay depending on the type of procedure you are receiving. You will be asked to remove any clothing or jewelry that may interfere with the x-ray machine. A contrast substance or dye may be given, depending on the type of procedure that is being done. You will be positioned on the X-ray table and, depending on the type of procedure being performed, you may have to change positions during the procedure. The length of time of your fluoroscopy will depend upon the type of procedure you are receiving.
If you need fluoroscopy in San Francisco, trust the board-certified radiologists at BICRAD with your care and imaging needs. Find a location near you today!