Fluoroscopy

Available in Vineland and Bridgeton

Fluoroscopy is a video X-ray machine that takes continuous pictures of the body with small doses of X-rays. This study is used to diagnose or treat patients by displaying the movement of a body part or an instrument or dye (contrast agent) through the body.

The advantages of real-time imaging and the freedom to freely position the X-ray field during examination makes fluoroscopy a very powerful diagnostic tool.

Types of Studies
Fluoroscopy is used in many types of examinations and procedures.

  • Barium X-rays and enemas (to view movement through the GI tract)
  • Blood flow studies (to visualize blood flow to organs)
  • Orthopedic surgery (to view fractures and fracture treatments)

Preparing for Your Exam
For Upper GI and small bowel exams, you should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the day before until the study is complete. You may also be instructed to take a laxative (in either pill or liquid form) for lower GI exams and use an over-the-counter enema preparation the night before. Follow your doctor’s instructions for your particular study.

Intravenous Pyelograms (IVP) – An IVP is an X-ray examination of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder that uses iodinated contrast material injected into veins.

When a contrast material is injected into a vein in the patient’s arm, it travels through the blood stream and collects in the kidneys and urinary tract, turning these areas bright white. An IVP allows the radiologist to view and assess the anatomy and function of the kidneys, ureters and the bladder.

Arthrogram (Joint X-ray)
An arthrogram is a test using X-rays to obtain a series of pictures of a joint after a contrast material (such as a dye, water, air, or a combination of these) has been injected into the joint. This allows your doctor to see the soft tissue structures of your joint, such as tendons, ligaments, muscles, cartilage, and your joint capsule. These structures are not seen on a plain X-ray without contrast material. Fluoroscopy is used to take pictures of the joint.

The procedure is also used to help diagnose persistent, unexplained joint pain or discomfort.

Preparing for Your Exam
No special preparation is necessary before arthrography. Food and fluid intake do not need to be restricted. You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to barium or iodinated contrast materials.

Myelogram
Myelography is an imaging examination that involves the introduction of a spinal needle into the spinal canal and the injection of contrast material in the space around the spinal cord and nerve roots using fluoroscopy.

Myelography is most commonly used to detect abnormalities affecting the spinal cord, the spinal canal, the spinal nerve roots and the blood vessels that supply the spinal cord, including:

  • To show whether herniations of the material between the vertebral bodies, termed the intervertebral disks, are pushing on nerve roots or the spinal cord.
  • To depict a condition that often accompanies degeneration of the bones and soft tissues surrounding the spinal canal, termed spinal stenosis. In this condition, the spinal canal narrows as the surrounding tissues enlarge due to the development of bony spurs (osteophytes) and the adjacent ligaments.

Myelography can also be used to assess the following conditions when MR imaging cannot be performed, or in addition to MRI:

  • Tumors
  • Infection
  • Inflammation of the arachnoid membrane that covers the spinal cord
  • Spinal lesions caused by disease or trauma

A myelogram can show whether surgical treatment is promising in a given case and, if it is, can help in planning surgery.

Preparing for Your Exam
Your physician will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for your myelogram. You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to barium or iodinated contrast materials. Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions. Specifically, the physician needs to know if (1) you are taking medications that need to be stopped a few days before the procedure and (2) whether you have a history of reaction to the contrast material used for the myelogram.