Fluoroscopy

 

How It Works

The Fluoroscopy unit uses an x-ray beam, passed through the body to create an x-ray ‘movie.’ The images are captured and viewed on a fluoroscope, which looks like a small television. Unlike a traditional x-ray that produces a single image, fluoroscopy studies produce real-time video of the anatomy and how it moves.

Why We Do It

This imaging is conducted for a wide range of uses, all of which share the need to review body function in action. In addition to skeletal images, fluoroscopy is used to look at the digestive, urinary, respiratory and reproductive systems. However, there are many other instances for which this is a useful study.

The Experience

With most exams, you are given a contrast material that acts as a dye, highlighting specific areas to promote visibility and examination accuracy. Contrast is given using different methods, most commonly in the form of oral liquid, or injection.

Prep & Safety

You will receive prep guidelines at the time you schedule your appointment. Because of the risk of radiation exposure to the fetus, pregnant women are advised to avoid this procedure unless otherwise stated by your provider. In all cases, alert us if you are diabetic or allergic to iodine. Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment unless otherwise indicated.

Your Results

A radiologist who is specially trained to interpret fluoroscopy images will review them. If the examination was ordered “stat” your physician will be notified the same day. If the examination was routine, the results are provided to your physician within 48 hours.

Types of scans

Esophagram

What: The esophagram test is ordered to assess a patient who has difficulty swallowing, has nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and weight loss. This test may show narrowing or irritation of the esophagus, blockages, hiatal hernia (a defect where the upper portion of the stomach slides through the diaphragm), abnormally enlarged veins that may cause bleeding in the esophagus, ulcers, polyps (non-cancerous growths), or tumors.

What to expect: During your study, you will be asked to drink carbonation crystals, then barium, to help the radiologist visualize the lining of your esophagus. This study typically takes 10 - 15 minutes.

Prep:

  • Do not eat, drink or smoke 8 hours prior to your study.
  • Bring medications with you to take after your study.

Upper GI

What: This is a diagnostic study that uses x-rays of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first part of the small bowel) with barium, air or both.

What to expect: Plan to spend 10-15 minutes for this study. You will begin in a standing position and asked to drink carbonation crystals. As the examination progresses, you will be asked to drink barium in different positions standing and laying down on the x-ray table. The Radiologist’s Assistant will watch you swallow the barium and will take images as it travels to your stomach.

During the process, you may be asked to turn from side to side, roll over, hold your breath, and hold different positions. This enables the Radiologist’s Assistant to capture views from several angles.

Prep:

  • Have nothing to eat, drink or smoke 8 hours prior to your study.
  • Bring prescribed medications with you the day of your study to take after the exam.

Upper GI with Small Bowel Study

What: This is a diagnostic study using x-rays of the esophagus, stomach and small bowel (Duodenum, Jejunum, and Ileum) with barium, air or both.

What to expect: Plan to spend up to 4 hours at the clinic. You will begin this study in a standing position and asked to drink carbonation crystals. As the examination progresses, you will be asked to drink barium in different positions standing and laying down on the x-ray table. The Radiologist’s Assistant will watch you swallow the barium and will take images as it travels to your stomach.

During the process, you may be asked to turn from side to side, roll over, hold your breath, and hold different positions. This enables the Radiologist’s Assistant to capture views from several angles. For the small bowel examination you will be asked to drink a little more barium, the technologist will take a series of x-rays at 20-minute intervals until the barium has moved through the small intestine.

Prep:

  • Have nothing to eat, drink or smoke 8 hours prior to your exam.
  • Patients who will have an upper GI and small bowel series of exams and have been constipated should take two Dulcolax tablets two days prior to your exam (barium only).
  • Bring prescribed medications with you the day of your study to take after the exam.

Small Bowel Series

What: Fluoroscopy of the small bowel identifies obstructions or blockages, growths, scar tissue, ulcers, tears and Crohn's disease.

What to expect: Plan to spend up to four hours at the clinic. You will be given barium to drink. X-rays will be used to capture the image of the liquid (at 20 minute intervals) as it moves through your digestive system. Once the barium reaches the large intestine, you will be taken to the fluoroscopy room for additional x-ray imaging of your small bowel.

Prep:

  • Plan on spending up to four hours at the clinic for this study.
  • Have nothing to eat, drink or smoke 8 hours prior to your exam.
  • Adult patients who have been constipated should take two Dulcolax two days prior to their exam.
  • Bring prescribed medications with you to take after the study.

Joint Injection (For Pain or MRI)

What: A joint injection may be used to administer a steroid medication to help relieve chronic pain or inflammation. Your doctor may request an aspiration where a sample of joint fluid is collected and sent to the lab for analysis. Currently, Salem Clinic does injections for Shoulders, Hips, and Knees.

What to expect: During the study, you will lie on an x-ray table. The skin over the joint will be marked with a pen where the puncture will occur. The area will be sterilized. The sterilizing solution may feel cool or cold. Once the needle is in place, the Radiologist’s Assistant will inject the contrast solution to verify joint location and take x-rays. Subsequently a steroid anesthetic solution mixture will be injected into your joint(s). For MRI, MRI contrast will be injected into the joint. This is performed under Fluoroscopy in the x-ray department. You will then be taken to the MRI department where the MRI technologist will conduct the diagnostic scan of your joint(s).

Prep:

  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your exam time.
  • With approval from your doctor or provider, discontinue use of blood thinners such as Coumadin or aspirin as directed by the Radiologist’s Assistant.
  • Continue medications as prescribed except for blood thinners, as noted above.

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

What: A Hysterosalpingogram is a study of the uterus and fallopian tubes, which is typically performed 10 days from the onset of the patient's last menstrual cycle. It is used to determine if the fallopian tubes are open, or if there are any apparent abnormalities or defects in the uterus. It can be used to detect tumors, scar tissue, or tears in the lining of the uterus. This procedure is often used to help diagnose infertility in women.

What to expect: Your legs will be bent with your feet on the outer edges of the table. X-ray equipment will be placed above your abdomen.

A speculum will be inserted into your vagina and a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) will be guided into the uterus through the cervix (the opening to the uterus). A small balloon in the catheter is inflated to hold it in place. A liquid water-based dye is injected through the catheter into the uterus. This process may cause cramping, minimal spotting/bleeding, and discomfort.

The radiologists will watch for blockages or abnormalities on an x-ray monitor as the dye spreads. Some patients experience mild cramping during this procedure. This procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.