Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see body structures in motion - similar to an x-ray "movie." A continuous x-ray beam is passed through the body part being examined. The beam is transmitted to a TV-like monitor so that the body part and its motion can be seen in detail. Fluoroscopy allows physicians to look at many body systems, including the skeletal, digestive, urinary, respiratory, and reproductive systems.
Fluoroscopy may be performed 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 examinations and procedures, such as barium x-rays, cardiac catheterization, arthrography (visualization of a joint or joints), lumbar puncture, placement of intravenous (IV) catheters (hollow tubes inserted into veins or arteries), intravenous pyelogram (IVP), hysterosalpingogram, and biopsies.
Fluoroscopy may be used alone as a diagnostic procedure, or may be used in conjunction with other diagnostic or therapeutic media or procedures.
In barium studies, fluoroscopy used alone allows the physician to see the movement of the intestines as the barium moves through them. In cardiac catheterization, fluoroscopy is used to assist the physician to see the flow of blood through the coronary arteries to determine if there is arterial blockages. For intravenous catheter insertion, fluoroscopy assists the physician in guiding the catheter into a specific location inside the body.
Other uses of fluoroscopy include, but are not limited to, the following:
There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend fluoroscopy.
Generally, fluoroscopy follows this process:
While the fluoroscopy procedure itself causes no pain, the manipulation of the body part being examined may cause some discomfort or pain, particularly in the case of a recent injury or invasive procedure such as surgery. The technologist will use all possible comfort measures and complete the procedure as quickly as possible to minimize any discomfort or pain.
If you are concerned about what to expect for your exact procedure please feel free to call the Medical Imaging department at (810) 989-3185 to speak with a technologist.
The type of care required after the procedure will depend on the type of fluoroscopy that is performed. 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.
If you notice any pain, redness, and/or swelling at the IV site after you return home following your procedure, you should notify your physician as this could indicate an infection or other type of reaction.
The technologist will give detailedinstructions related to your care after the examination or procedure. Your ordering physician will receive the results within 24-48 hours.