Fluoroscopy: How it Works

Fluoroscopy: How it Works

Referred to as an “x-ray movie,” fluoroscopy is a study of moving body structures. This procedure is used in many different procedures and has completely changed the way doctors look at x-rays. You may be wondering about fluoroscopy, how it works, and its risks. 

What is Fluoroscopy 

A fluoroscopy is a study of moving body structures caused by a continuous x-ray beam passing through the body. This beam is transmitted to a screen that displays the body parts and their motion. By using fluoroscopy, physicians can look at a wide variety of body systems including skeletal, respiratory, urinary, digestive, and reproductive systems. Fluoroscopy is also used to look at specific organs of the body, like the kidneys, lungs, heart. It can also be used to look at bones, muscles, and joints. 

Why is Fluoroscopy Used? 

Fluoroscopy is used in a large number of exams and procedures. It is used in barium x-rays so that a healthcare professional can see the movement of the intestines. During electrophysiological procedures, fluoroscopy is used to help people with heart rhythm problems. Cardiac catheterization uses fluoroscopy to look at the flow of blood and check for arterial blockages. This procedure also helps place IVs and arterial catheters. 

Fluoroscopy is used during percutaneous vertebroplasty, which is a procedure used to treat compression fractures of the vertebrae that makes up the spine. Fluoroscopy can also be used in biopsies, lumbar puncture, guided injections into the joints or spine, and biopsies. There are even more reasons why your healthcare provider may recommend fluoroscopy, as it is versatile and helpful in many ways. 

How Fluoroscopy Works 

When you receive this procedure, you will stay awake. You could receive an IV or drink of contrast substance or dye, depending on the type of procedure being done. In some cases, you may have a catheter inserted (which will be removed at the end of the procedure). Otherwise, you will be asked to position yourself on the x-ray table in a particular way that works with the procedure being performed. During the procedure, there will be different times where you could be asked to move into different positions or hold your breath. The length of this procedure depends on the type of procedure being done. 

Risks of Fluoroscopy 

Before your procedure, you should tell your doctor about your previous x-rays, scans, and other exposure to radiation. Radiation can not prove as a risk unless you have been exposed repeatedly. If you suspect you are pregnant or are pregnant, you will want to avoid this procedure. Exposure to radiation while pregnant can cause birth defects. Sometimes, a contrast dye is used during fluoroscopy. You may be allergic to this dye and will want to alert your doctor. You should also inform your doctor if you are allergic to contrast media, iodine, latex, or medications. 

Urgent Care That Cares 

If you are in the Walnut Creek area and need on-the-spot treatment at a medical facility, BASS Urgent Care will be ready for you. It does not matter if you are young or older, we will offer our services to you. BASS Advanced Urgent Care has ER trained physicians, a laboratory, and multiple types of imaging services on-site. From routine check-ups to vaccinations, we offer a wide variety of services. To call ahead of time to set up an appointment, contact us at (925) 329-3718, or book with us online.