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 What is a Fluoroscopy?
Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that uses X-rays to obtain real-time moving images of the internal structures of a patient through the use of a fluoroscope. In its simplest form, a fluoroscope consists of an X-ray source and a fluorescent screen between which a patient is placed. However, modern fluoroscopes couple the screen to an X-ray image intensifier and CCD video camera allowing the images to be recorded and played on a monitor. The contrast agent is needed to enhance the soft tissue which doesn’t show under normal X-Ray use.  The technologist uses a switch to control an X-Ray beam that is transmitted through the patient. The X-Rays then strike a fluorescent plate that is coupled to an “image intensifier” that is, in turn, coupled to a television camera. The Radiologist can then watch the fluorescent screen and see a dynamic (moving) image of the patient’s body, for instance, the beating heart.

Common Uses

• Small Bowl Series; evaluation of the small intestine.
• Galactogram; evaluation of breast glandular ducts
• Intravenous Pyelography; evaluation of the kidneys, ureter, and bladder
• Upper Gastrointestinal Series; evaluation of esophagus and stomach
• Barium Enema; evaluation of the large intestine
• Gall Bladder Series; evaluate the presence of gall stones
• Hystersalpingogram; evaluation of the fallopian tubes
• Arthrogram; evaluation of major joints
• Venogram; evaluation of veins
• Sailogram; evaluation of the parotid gland

Another common procedure is the modified barium swallow. The patient will ingest barium-impregnated liquids/solids, and a radiologist and speech pathologist interpret the results. The test is taken to diagnose oral and pharyngeal swallowing dysfunction.    



x-rays are safe when used with care. Radiologists and x-ray technologists have been trained to use the minimum amount of radiation necessary to obtain the needed results. The amount of radiation used in most examinations is very small and the benefits greatly outweigh the risk of harm.

Women should always inform the physician and technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant so that the necessary precautions can be taken.

What should I expect BEFORE my Fluoroscopy?

Continue taking your current medications as normal unless specified by your physician.

Food and drink
Depending on the patient and procedure, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours before your procedure. Please contact the facility where your exam is scheduled to see if this applies to your exam.

Please refrain from smoking or chewing gum prior to the exam.

When to arrive
Please arrive 15-20 minutes before your scheduled exam.

What to wear
Wear comfortable clothing, preferably clothes with no zipper or buttons, such as sweats. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the images. Gowns are available if needed.

What will I experience DURING my Fluoroscopy?

You will be given a contrast agent to enhance the tissue that isn’t normally seen with a normal X-ray.  A technologist will position you to best capture the area of interest.

Length of my Fluoroscopy
The length of the exam is varied on the type of exam being performed.

Contrast Medium
The contrast agents used are administered through injection, ingestion, or an enema

What should I expect AFTER my Fluoroscopy?
You may resume your normal activities, diet, and medications unless instructed otherwise by the technologist or your doctor.

Fluoroscopy Results

We understand that quick results are important for our patients.  Exams are typically read within 24 hours and results will be sent to your physician who will go over them with you. 

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