A moving X-ray — that is the best way to describe fluoroscopy, which uses X-ray technology and contrast material to obtain a moving image of a specific organ.
Radiologists typically use fluoroscopy to diagnose disorders of the esophagus, stomach, intestines, and colon as well as the uterus, bladder, and rectum — in addition to other organs. Interventional radiologists, interventional neurosurgeons and interventional cardiologists may also use fluoroscopy to view organ structures during IR, neurovascular or cardiac catheterization procedures.
In fluoroscopy, advancements in technology make an impact on both time and radiation exposure. Our industry-latest technology means that many of our studies take very little time to complete, reducing radiation exposure and improving patient comfort.
In addition, our skilled radiologists use industry best practices such as continuous pulses — rapid pulses every four seconds — which also help reduce radiation exposure but still ensure a high-quality image. ^
Our radiologists provide both inpatient and outpatient fluoroscopy for adult and pediatric patients. Our specialized services include:
- Swallowing studies, to evaluate anatomical issues such as narrowing, pouching, or motility problems that affect your ability to swallow
- Defecography, which examines the shape, position, and movement of the rectum as it empties
- Other digestive health imaging studies, to support the Georgia Regents Digestive Health Center
- Pre- and post-bariatric surgery evaluation
- Myelography, which injects a contrast medium into the spine to look for causes of pain, such as injury, cysts, or tumors
- Spinal epidural steroid injections, to treat pain
- Lumbar puncture to remove and examine spinal cord fluid
- Joint injections or joint fluid aspirations (removal), to diagnose and treat pain or loss of mobility ^
Before your exam:
Your radiologist will provide you with specific instructions on how to prepare for your fluoroscopy. You may be asked to not eat or drink anything eight to 12 hours before your exam or to cleanse the large intestine with a prep kit. Advise your physician if you are on any medications.
During your exam:
- During your fluoroscopy exam, you may be asked to swallow a contrast material, a substance that helps your organs show up more clearly during the imaging study. Contrast materials may also be delivered through an injection, a catheter or, in certain cases, an enema.
- During the exam, you will lie down on the X-ray table. If you need a catheter, it will be inserted at this time.
- A special X-ray scanner is used to produce the fluoroscopic images of the body structure being examined or treated.
- The type of care required after the procedure will depend on the type of procedure done. Certain procedures, such as cardiac catheterization, will require a recovery period of several hours with immobilization of the leg or arm where the cardiac catheter was inserted. Other procedures may require less time for recovery. Your radiologist will give more specific instructions related to care after the examination or procedure. ^