Fluoroscopies show a continual X-ray on a TV screen, much like a movie, so that doctors can see moving parts of the body, such as the heart pumping or the throat swallowing. This advanced technology helps your doctor diagnose certain diseases or provide treatment.

What is a fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopies are a type of imaging procedure that produces an X-ray scan of a patient’s body in real time. A continuous or pulsed X-ray passes through the body and records changes and movement.

Fluoroscopy can be used for many different areas of the body. Many times a dye is given to patients to see how it moves through certain organs. This can help in situations where blockages occur.

Fluoroscopy can do more than diagnose

Fluoroscopy also helps providers get a good view of what is going on inside the body while performing procedures. Fluoroscopies can guide doctors during these surgeries.

Examples of fluoroscopy

  • Barium X-rays

  • Barium enemas

  • Barium swallows

  • Cardiac catheterizations

  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series

  • Small bowel series

  • Interventional radiology procedures

  • Lumbar punctures

  • Myelograms

  • Alignment (“reduction”) of dislocated or broken bones

Fluoroscopy exposes the patient to a larger amount of radiation than a regular X-ray. This is because the machine is giving off continuous or periodic X-rays to record movement.

Some procedures take a long time to complete.

  • The fluoroscopy radiation exposure is less than radiation therapy.
  • Each procedure is different and duration varies.
  • Fluoroscopy benefits are found to outweigh the risks.

Speak with your doctor about how long your procedure should take and if radiation exposure should be a concern. Tell your doctor if you could be pregnant.