X-Ray / Fluoroscopy
Conventional X-rays can be used for diagnosing breaks, bone abnormalities, chest problems and other common complaints. An X-ray is typically a simple, painless procedure that produces an image to allow the radiologist quickly evaluate bone and soft tissue anatomy.
Fluoroscopy is an enhanced X-ray procedure that produces live, moving images on a video monitor. It is especially helpful in diagnosing problems of the digestive tract, kidneys and bowel. Fluoroscopy procedures, like X-rays, involve safe, low doses of radiation. Unlike most x-ray exams, fluoroscopy procedures may involve patient preparation and need to be scheduled in advance.
An upper GI exam helps to assess overall digestive function and detect:
The procedure may help diagnose various symptoms, including:
Small Bowel Follow Through
The exam typically takes one to two hours, depending on the speed of your digestive processes. If your digestive system is slow or partially obstructed, digestion can take many hours, even days, and would require follow up images periodically during that time to track the digestive process.
Before your examination, a radiographer will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have. Prior to performing your examination, the radiographer will give you a hospital gown to wear so your clothing does not interfere with the required quality of the image.
If you are a woman of childbearing age, the radiographer will ask if there is any possibility you are pregnant. It is important that you tell the radiographer the date of your last menstrual period and whether there is a chance that you may be pregnant.
As the barium flows through your digestive tract, the radiographer will take X-rays to watch the barium move through your small intestine. The technologist may ask you to walk around, sit up or lay on your right side in order to help the barium move through your intestine more quickly. Once the barium reaches the juncture of your small intestine to your large intestine, the radiologist will come in and take some fluoroscopy images. They may ask you to turn from side to side or they may gently press on your stomach so they can see everything.
Once the examination is complete, the radiologist will interpret the medical images and dictate a report for your ordering physician.
You should increase your water intake in the days following your examination. The barium may make your stools white for a few days. This is normal. If you experience constipation following the examination, tell your doctor. You may be advised to take a laxative.
The radiation that you are exposed to during this examination, like the radiation produced during any other X-ray procedure, passes through you immediately. You are not "radioactive," and it is not necessary to take any special precautions following your examination.
Please remember that the material presented here is for informational purposes only. If you have specific questions about a medical imaging procedure, contact your physician or the Radiology Department of the institution where your test will be performed.
To schedule your next imaging procedure, please call Radiology Scheduling at (903) 870-3604.