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X-ray & Fluoroscopy

Get a more detailed look at the structures, organs, joints and movements of your body with X-ray and fluoroscopy (“moving X-ray”) imaging.

What is X-ray and fluoroscopy imaging?

An X-ray uses electromagnetic waves to create a static image of the inside of your body. Fluoroscopy, by contrast, uses X-ray technology to capture a moving video image of these same structures. These types of imaging are used to get a detailed view of internal systems, such as the digestival, urinary, reproductive, respiratory, or skeletal system.  

What conditions does X-ray and fluoroscopy imaging help diagnose?

An X-ray or fluoroscopy procedure is used to help detect, diagnose, and guide treatment for a wide variety of conditions. For instance, it may be used to diagnose any open blocked coronary arteries or assess the spinal cord after surgery. 

Some of the most common disorders or conditions this technology is used for include:  

Types of X-ray and fluoroscopy procedures 

The type of X-ray or fluoroscopy procedure ordered will depend on the systems or parts of the body that your care team wants to see in greater detail. 

  • Arthrography.  To get a better look at a joint like your knee or shoulder, arthrography imaging may be used. Contrast dye is injected into the joint and a series of X-rays are taken featuring the joint in different positions.  
  • Barium studies. To diagnose issues in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, your provider may recommend a barium X-ray. When mixed with water, barium — a chalky white powder — becomes drinkable and as it travels through your GI tract, X-ray images will show the path (shape, size, contours, etc.) it takes.    
  • General Fluoroscopy studies.  When your provider needs to see a detailed X-ray in motion instead of a static picture, they will order a fluoroscopy. Often used to evaluate areas like your bones, muscles and joints.  
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG). A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) uses a fluoroscope X-ray with contrast dye for a closer look at the structure and shape of the uterus, openness of the fallopian tubes and to identify any scarring in the uterus or abdominal cavity.   
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) studies. This imaging exam, also called an excretory urogram, uses an X-ray with a contrast dye to show the organs of the urinary tract and can detect kidney stones, enlarged prostate, tumors, cysts and other issues. 
  • Myelogram. The myelogram X-ray imaging test, which uses contrast dye injected into your spinal canal through your lower back, can reveal issues that a standard MRI or CT scan might miss.  

How should I prepare for my X-ray or fluoroscopy?

Preparation for your x-ray or fluoroscopy procedure will depend on the reason it’s being ordered and the part of the body to be examined. Be sure to consult with your healthcare team about any pre-procedure instructions and follow them. 

What should I expect on the day of my X-ray or fluoroscopy?

On the day of your X-ray or fluoroscopy, you will be asked to remove any metal or electronic items that could interfere with the imaging. Your healthcare team may ask you to change into a gown when you arrive and lie still during the procedure. 

Why you should choose The Iowa Clinic for your X-ray or fluoroscopy procedure

When you choose The Iowa Clinic for your X-ray or fluoroscopy, you are choosing an integrated, holistic approach to your care from a team dedicated to providing better health outcomes. Our specialists and primary care providers offer patients professional and empathetic healthcare experiences. This collaborative team communicates across departments and disciplines, ensuring a smooth and streamlined process from diagnosis to treatment. 

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