Fluoroscopy is used in many different types of examinations as a diagnostic procedure or in conjunction with other procedures. Fluoroscopy allows medical professionals to look at many different systems in the body to diagnose any diseases or issues in those systems.
Fluoroscopy is the study or moving bodily structures. A continuous x-ray is passed through the body and a moving picture is transmitted to a screen where it can be seen in detail. It is a basic form of x-ray that using a piece of equipment called a fluoroscope to observe organs and systems in real time.
Bone, muscle, joints, and solid organs such as the lungs, heart, kidneys, etc. can all be evaluated and diagnosed used fluoroscopy.
How are they used?
A fluoroscopy procedure is used to diagnose disease or to help doctors see bodily systems during other treatment procedures. Fluoroscopy can be performed as an outpatient procedure or under general anesthesia during surgery or another procedure. The technology is helpful to surgeons when performing surgery and for physicians when diagnosing disease.
When are they used?
A fluoroscopy is used during many types of exams and procedures, including:
- Arthrography – an x-ray used to view joints
- Barium x-rays – fluoroscopy used on its own can help the medical professional see the movement of the intestines as barium flows through them
- Cardiac catheterization – in this case, a fluoroscopy is used to help the medical professional better see the flow of blood through the arteries and detect any blockages
- Placing intravenous catheters – a fluoroscopy is used to guide the catheter into a specific place in the body during this procedure
- Electrophysiologic procedures – during these procedures, a fluoroscopy can be used to treat those with arrhythmias
What are the risks associated with fluoroscopy?
Because these procedure uses x-ray technology, people who undergo a fluoroscopy are exposed to a small amount of radiation. You can speak with your doctor about the amount of radiation used during the procedure and the risks associated with it. There may be specific risks associated with your health status and current diseases that could pose an issue. The amount of radiation a person is exposed to depends on a number of factors such as a patient’s size and the duration of the procedure.
Depending on the type of procedure, a fluoroscopy can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.
How can I prepare for a fluoroscopy?
Depending on whether your procedure is part of an outpatient examination or a surgery that requires you to stay in a hospital, you can prepare for your fluoroscopy procedure in a variety of ways.
- You may be asked to wear a hospital gown and to remove any jewelry or metal objects
- Depending on the type, you may be asked to sit, stand or lie down.
- You may also be asked to drink a lot of fluids before the procedure and avoid eating beforehand.
No need to dread your fluoroscopy procedure, this mostly non-invasive imaging method will help your physician better understand your needs as a patient.