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Radiography (X-Ray)

  • Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopy is a form of diagnostic radiology that enables the radiologist to view the area of concern in the body through the use of a video-type X-ray and a contrast agent. Contrast agents may be introduced into the body through injection, swallowing or an enema. Fluoroscopy is especially effective in diagnosing problems in the upper and lower digestive tract.

Listed below are types of fluoroscopy examinations performed at Overlake.

Barium Enema (Lower GI)-BE

Lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract radiography, also called a lower GI, is an X-ray examination of the large intestine, also known as the colon. This includes the right or ascending colon, the transverse colon, the left or descending colon and the rectum. The appendix and a portion of the small intestine may also be included.

Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the lower gastrointestinal tract is filled with barium, the radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the rectum, colon and part of the lower small intestine.

The patient is positioned on the examination table and an X-ray film is taken to ensure the bowel is clean. The technologist will insert a small tube into the rectum and begin to pump a mixture of barium and water into the colon. Air may also be injected through the tube to help the barium thoroughly coat the lining of the colon. Next, a series of X-ray images is taken.

Upper Gastrointestinal Series-UGI

Upper gastrointestinal tract radiography, also called an upper GI, is an X-ray examination of the pharynx, esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine.

Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the gastrointestinal tract is coated with barium, the radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the pharynx, esophagus, and stomach. In addition to drinking barium, some patients are also given baking-soda crystals to further improve the images.

As the patient drinks the liquid barium, the radiologist will watch the barium pass through the patient's digestive tract. The exam table will be positioned at different angles and the patient's abdomen may be compressed.

Small Intestines-Small Bowel Series

Small bowel radiography is an X-ray examination of the small intestines and can be done alone or in conjunction with an upper gastrointestinal series.

The patient is instructed to drink liquid barium. Then an X-ray is taken of the abdomen to view the travel of the barium through the gastrointestinal system. Depending on the speed of transit through the bowel, additional X-rays will be taken at timed intervals. When the barium has traveled through the small intestines and begins to enter the large intestines, fluoroscopy may be used to view the small intestines.

Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. The exam table will be positioned at different angles and the patient's abdomen may be compressed.

Hysterosalpingography-HSG

Hysterosalpingography, also called uterosalpingography, is an X-ray examination of a woman's uterus and fallopian tubes.

Fluoroscopy is a special X-ray technique that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the uterus and fallopian tubes are filled with a water-soluble contrast material, the radiologist is able to view and assess their anatomy and function.

The patient is positioned on her back on the exam table, with her knees pulled to her chest or her feet held up with stirrups. A speculum is inserted into the vagina and the catheter is then inserted into the cervix. The speculum is removed and the patient is carefully situated underneath the fluoroscopy device. The contrast material then begins to fill the uterine cavity through the catheter and fluoroscopic images are taken.

In some cases, if certain abnormalities are encountered, the patient will be asked to rest and wait up to 30 minutes so that a delayed image can be obtained. This delayed image may provide clues to a patient's condition that the original images with contrast material do not. On occasion, an X-ray will be taken the next day to ensure that there is no scarring surrounding the ovaries.

When the procedure is complete, the catheter will be removed and the patient will be allowed to sit up. The hysterosalpingogram is usually completed within 30 minutes.

Intravenous Pyelogram-IVP

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an X-ray examination of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder that uses contrast material. An IVP allows the radiologist to view and assess the anatomy and function of the kidneys and lower urinary tract.

When a contrast material is injected into the patient's arm, it travels through the blood stream and collects in the kidneys and urinary tract, turning these areas bright white. The patient is positioned on the table and still X-ray images are taken. The contrast material is then injected, usually in a vein in the patient's arm, followed by additional still images.

As the contrast material is processed by the kidneys a series of images is taken to determine the actual size of the kidneys and to capture the urinary tract in action as it begins to empty. An IVP study is usually completed within an hour. However, because some kidneys empty at a slower rate, the exam may last up to four hours.

For additional general information regarding radiology procedures please visit radiologyinfo.org.

Contact Us

If you would like to schedule an imaging procedure, call 425-688-0100. To speak to a Medical Imaging staff member, call 425-688-5564.