Fluoroscopy: What to Expect

Fluoroscopy is an imaging tool doctors use to look inside your body similar to an X-ray. However, this test shows your body and organs moving, and then depicts it on a computer screen. Sounds like something from the future, but it is used frequently, and physicians can learn how your body is working in detail. If you are scheduled for a fluoroscopy, here’s what to expect.

Know Fluoroscopies Are Painless

Expect you will feel no pain during a fluoroscopy. Although this type of test may not be as familiar as others like X-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan, it is not invasive and is painless.

It allows doctors and radiologists to see specific organs or specified areas of concern in real time like a video rather than a photo X-ray.

Purposes of a Fluoroscopy

A fluoroscopy exam can show any abnormalities in our bodies including our urinary, reproductive, digestive, and respiratory system along with our skeleton and provider holding a sign that reads fluoroscopy.spine. It can also show the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

It can be used alone to diagnose issues or in conjunction with a surgery or other procedures like injections in the spine.

Other reasons for a fluoroscopy include the following:

  • To look for blood clots in veins or arteries
  • To find foreign bodies or abnormalities
  • To see how your gastric system is functioning
  • To guide medical procedures like placing a catheter, stents, or other devices in the body like in the heart or blood vessels
  • To guide injections deep into the spine or joints
  • To image broken bones and be sure that surgery has been successful for them to heal

Your physician will explain the reason for your exam.

What to Expect If You Are Having a Fluoroscopy

You will be given dietary restrictions prior to the test.

You will be instructed to remove all jewelry and change into a hospital gown. Let the radiologist know if you are allergic to anything like iodine as this is something in the contrast material you might be taking.

Also be forthcoming if you think you might be pregnant. The radiation could harm a fetus.

Depending on the specific nature of the test, you may need to stand or lay down.

While the fluoroscopy is not painful, if you are having a procedure performed at the same time, there could be some discomfort afterwards. If that is the case, local anesthesia, conscious sedation, or general anesthesia may be needed. 

Your doctor will give you specific instructions about what to expect after your fluoroscopy. A report will be sent to your physician within 72 hours.

Contact Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center at (214) 345-6905 if you have any additional questions or concerns about an upcoming fluoroscopy at our imaging center in Dallas.