Fluoroscopy uses a continuous low-intensity X-ray beam to produce moving pictures of the part of your body being examined. These pictures show up on a video screen, much like a live X-ray movie. For example, fluoroscopy can show your doctor how blood is flowing through your arteries or the way food is traveling through your digestive system. Sometimes, fluoroscopy is used to help position a catheter or needle for a procedure, assist in realigning a broken bone, evaluate the urinary tract, or study the way joints move.
What to expect during your test or treatment
- Your technologist will take you to a special room where the pictures will be taken, and you will be asked to change into a hospital gown.
- Your technologist will position you as comfortably as possible on the X-ray table.
- An IV needle may be inserted into a vein in your arm. A special dye, called a contrast material, may be injected into the IV needle so that the area being examined can be seen in greater detail. In some cases, this contrast material is given by mouth instead of through an IV needle.
- You may briefly feel a warm sensation as the contrast material begins to circulate into your body.
- If you’re having a procedure such as a cardiac catheterization or catheter placement, an additional IV needle may be inserted in your groin, elbow or other area.
- A special X-ray scanner will be used to produce moving pictures of the area being examined by sending a low beam X-ray through your body to a fluorescent plate on the other side.
- You will not experience any discomfort from the test itself. However, you might find it uncomfortable to lie still during the test, especially if you have had an injury.
What to expect after your test or treatment
- Depending on the type of exam or procedure you have, you may need to stay at the hospital up to several hours. An overnight stay is usually not required.
- If you have a digestive tract fluoroscopy, the contrast material will cause you to have a whitish stool for several days.
Drinking plenty of fluids will help flush the dye from your system.
- If you have a procedure which requires a catheter insertion, you might experience some soreness, redness and bruising where the catheter needle was inserted.
- A radiologist will study the results of your test and send a complete report to your doctor within one to two days.
- Your doctor will schedule a time to discuss the results with you.
If you have any questions after returning home, please contact your physician.
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Norton Healthcare locations offering fluoroscopy: