Fluoroscopy is an imaging process that allows doctors to view internal organs in motion. It is used in a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, colon, rectum and urinary tract.
At Children’s Health, our specialists in pediatric radiology and pediatric neuroradiology have advanced training and years of experience in performing fluoroscopy exams for children. Our technologists and pediatric radiologists work to use the lowest possible dose of radiation in order to protect your child’s health, conforming to the standards set by the national program of ALARA – As Low As Reasonably Achievable for radiation doses.
What to Expect
Your child will be given a special dye that will highlight specific organs, joints and/or blood vessels so they can be seen better under fluoroscopy or X-ray. This dye can be swallowed, injected or given by an enema, depending on the type of exam and what part of the body is being studied.
Most fluoroscopic exams require the child to lie on the table. The X-ray machine, called the "fluoro tower,” will move across your child. The machine has a curtain on it so your child may feel like he/she is lying in a tent. The length of time for the study will depend on the part of the body being imaged; there are some studies that require the contrast or dye to move through the patient’s system prior to the study.
Why is my child having a fluoroscopy instead of an X-ray?
Unlike an X-ray, fluoroscopy allows the doctor to see internal organs in motion, and observe their size, shape and movement in order to diagnose a condition or prescribe a specific treatment.
Will my child feel any pain with the fluoroscopy?
While fluoroscopy itself is not painful, the particular procedure being performed may be painful, such as the injection into a joint or accessing of an artery or vein for angiography. In these cases, the radiologist will take all comfort measures possible, which could include local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on the particular procedure.
Can I stay with my child during the procedure?
You will be asked to wait in the waiting room until the procedure is completed. We do all we can to make sure that you are separated from your child for the shortest amount of time possible.