CHOC Children's Radiology
What is fluoroscopy?
Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that takes a live X-ray movie of internal structures in the body. The “movie” is transmitted to a TV-like monitor so that the doctor can watch the organs inside the body as they work. The radiologists, specialized X-ray doctors who interpret the pictures, use these images to help diagnose problems. Learn more about X-rays.
How is fluoroscopy performed?
When a patient arrives in the fluoroscopy area, he or she will change into a comfortable gown for the procedure. Once ready, the child must lie on an exam table and may be asked to move into different positions in order to get the pictures the radiologist needs. The X-ray machine, called a fluoro-tower, is brought across the child, without touching them. The radiologist moves the tower over the area being examined. The entire exam takes 30 to 40 minutes to complete.
Most exams require a contrast material to be given to the child in order to help the doctor get a better view of the body structure being studied. This may be given in a variety of ways depending on which area of the body the doctor is imaging. Contrast may be given by mouth, so that it enters the digestive tract, or through a catheter, so that it enters the urinary tract. In order to evaluate the rectum, or large intestine, an enema is used to give the contrast. If the child will need a contrast material, the entire procedure will be explained by the Radiology Department staff before the child’s appointment.
It is important to note that this exam involves radiation; pregnant women or women who believe they may be pregnant are not allowed to be in the room during the exam. Siblings, or anyone under the age of 18, are also not allowed in the exam room.
What happens after the fluoroscopy?
Patients should be able to resume normal activities immediately, unless the child's doctor instructs otherwise. If contrast was used, the child should drink more fluids. The contrast liquid will pass naturally though the child’s body within a day.
A report with information from the fluoroscopy exam will be sent to the child’s doctor within 48 hours. (Please contact the doctor who ordered the exam for the results.)
To make an appointment for a fluoroscopy exam at CHOC Children’s, please call (888) 770-2462.