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Fluoroscopy is a study of moving body structures. It’s much like an X-ray "movie" and is often done while a contrast dye moves through the part of the body being examined. A continuous X-ray beam is passed through the body part and transmitted to a video monitor so that the body part and its motion can be seen in detail. Fluoroscopy, as an imaging tool, allows doctors to look at many body systems, including the skeletal, digestive, urinary, respiratory, and reproductive systems.
Fluoroscopy may be used to evaluate specific areas of the body, including the bones, muscles, and joints, as well as solid organs, such as the heart, lung, or kidneys.
Fluoroscopy is used in many types of exams and procedures including:
Fluoroscopy is also used for:
Fluoroscopy may be used alone, or may be used along with other diagnostic procedures.
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend fluoroscopy.
You may want to ask your doctor about the amount of radiation used during the procedure and the risks related to your particular situation. It is a good idea to keep a record of your radiation exposure, such as previous CT scans and other types of X-rays, so that you can inform your doctor. Risks associated with radiation exposure may be related to the cumulative number of X-ray examinations and/or treatments over a long period.
If you are pregnant or think you may be, tell your doctor. Radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead to birth defects.
If contrast dye is used, there is a risk for allergic reaction to the dye. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to or sensitive to medications, contrast media, iodine, or latex. Also, tell your doctor if you have kidney failure or other kidney problems.
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to the procedure.
Certain factors or conditions may interfere with the accuracy of a fluoroscopy procedure. For instance, a recent barium X-ray procedure may interfere with exposure of the abdominal or lower back area. Make sure your doctor knows about your medical history and any recent tests or treatments you have had.
Fluoroscopy may be done on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your doctor's practices.
Generally, fluoroscopy follows this process:
While fluoroscopy itself is not painful, the particular procedure being done may be painful, such as the injection into a joint or accessing of an artery or vein for angiography. In these cases, the radiologist will take all comfort measures possible, which could include local anesthesia (numbing drugs), conscious sedation (drugs to make you sleepy), or general anesthesia (drugs to put you into a deep sleep and not feel pain), depending on the particular procedure.
The type of care required after the procedure will depend on the type of fluoroscopy that is done. Certain procedures, such as cardiac catheterization, will require a recovery period of several hours with immobilization of the leg or arm where the catheter was inserted. Other procedures may require less time for recovery.
If you notice any pain, redness, and/or swelling at the IV site after you go home, you should tell your doctor as this may be a sign of infection or other type of reaction.
Your doctor will give more specific instructions related to your care after the procedure.
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.