When MRIs or standard X-rays don’t reveal enough information about what’s happening inside your body, you may need fluoroscopy. This unique medical imaging technique uses continuous X-ray beams to reveal movement within certain systems of the body—including the gastrointestinal tract, veins, muscles, and heart. To highlight movement, contrast dyes—such as barium or iodine—are provided to the patient and traced throughout the body system in question. If you’re curious about this diagnostic innovation—and how it can support your health—here are a few important details to know.
When Is Fluoroscopy Needed?
In terms of diagnostics, fluoroscopy is often used to check the condition of detailed systems and soft tissues. For example, it may be used to track blood flow in the arteries to check for blockages affecting the heart. If you have digestive issues, radiologists may use this technique to trace movement throughout the intestines. It may also be used to locate hard-to-find foreign bodies or to guide biopsy collection for cancer screening.
Fluoroscopy is also used to assist in certain treatments while surgical patients are under anesthesia. Stents used to open up blocked arteries, for example, are often placed with the help of this imaging technique. It is also used to help guide the placement of catheters, replacement joints, and other medical devices.
Do You Have to Wait for Images to Develop?
Unlike typical X-rays and MRIs, fluoroscopy results are produced instantly in real time. During the process, equipment captures about 30 images per second. These images are combined to create a moving picture that details the behaviors of contrast dyes.
How Do You Prepare for Fluoroscopy?
Just as with a standard X-ray or MRI, it’s important to wear loose-fitting clothing to ensure you remain comfortable during the imaging process. You should also avoid wearing jewelry and other accessories that may interfere with the X-ray.
While not always necessary, some patients may be required to follow certain dietary restrictions or consume contrast dyes prior to their appointment. Others may simply have the contrast dyes injected intravenously during the screening.
Depending on the complexity, some fluoroscopies may take up to two hours to complete. For this reason, it’s important to ask your provider how long you should expect to be at the radiology clinic and make sure you keep your schedule open.
Providing comprehensive diagnostic imaging services in Bayside and Flushing, NY, Main Street Radiology is a leading resource for fluoroscopy in the Queens area. Equipped with the latest industry tools, these caring radiologists will deliver simple-to-follow instructions and gentle care to ensure you feel comfortable at every stage of the process. Beyond fluoroscopy, this clinic can help assess your health through state-of-the-art MRIs, biopsies, mammograms, bone density tests, ultrasounds, and more. For more details on these capabilities, visit this radiology center online. To schedule a convenient appointment, call (718) 428-1500 to speak with a friendly team member.