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What is Fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy is a safe and painless test that uses a continuous x-ray beam to create a sequence of images that are projected onto a computer monitor. This special x-ray technique makes it possible for physicians to view internal organs in motion by creating real time “x-ray movies.” Still images are also captured and stored electronically on a computer. Most fluoroscopic exams require the use of a contrast material (usually barium) to better see the organs inside your body.

Fluoroscopy is used to examine a wide range of internal structures, including the intestines, stomach, lungs, bladder, reproductive system and joints. Fluoroscopy can also be used to guide a variety of interventional procedures, like arthrograms.

Esophagram (Barium Swallow)/Upper GI/Small Bowel Series

The night before the exam, have a light supper and nothing to eat, drink, smoke or chew after 10:00 p.m.


Your appointment must be scheduled six to ten days after the onset of your menstrual cycle.

Bring With You to the Appointment:

  • Prescription from your doctor.
  • Current insurance card.
  • Authorization number from your insurance carrier.
  • Any forms you completed at home.
  • Credit card or cash for your insurance co-pay.
  • Any abdominal or pelvic studies that you have from another facility. We like to compare the new MRI study with any previous studies to assist in the diagnostic process.
  • Picture identification.

How to Prepare for Your Visit:

When scheduling your appointment, provide us with your email address and we will send you personalized forms with your information already filled in. You will only have to update or add any missing information. If your email address is not provided, you can still save time by downloading the Registration forms and completing them prior to arriving at the office. You must remove all jewelry and any other metallic objects such as hearing aids, jeans with metal zippers, body piercings and removable dental work. Wearing a sweatsuit with no metal may prevent you from having to change into a gown.

Present your prescription, insurance card and completed forms at the front desk. If any additional forms are required, they will be given to you at this time.

Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.

Be sure to inform the receptionist and technologist if you:

  • Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
  • Have a colostomy or a ileostomy.
  • Are currently taking any medications.
  • Have any allergies.
  • Have any studies of the same body area from another facility. We like to compare the new fluoroscopy study with any previous studies to assist in the diagnostic process.

What Happens During the Exam?

  • All metal in the area being scanned must be removed including jewelry, dentures, eyeglasses, belt buckles and any clothing with metal zippers or buttons. Metal interferes with the quality and accuracy of the images captured during the fluoroscopy exam. You may be asked to change into a gown.
  • The technologist will confirm that you are free of all metal, review your medical history and answer any questions that you might have.
  • If you are having a small bowel series, you will be given a barium drink just before your test. For an esophagram or an upper GI series, you will drink the barium during your scan. If your scan requires contrast dye, it will be injected right before your exam. During a hysterosalpingogram, a low concentrated contrast agent is injected through the cervix.
  • You will be positioned on the scanning table and the test will begin. The fluoroscopy unit will move over the areas of your body being studied and the images will be captured.
  • Depending on the type of study being conducted, the entire test will take between 15 and 30 minutes.

When Can I Expect the Results?

One of our board certified radiologist interprets your fluoroscopy images, compares them to any previous studies and dictates a report which is transcribed, proofread and signed. Your doctor will read the report and review the findings with you. All of your signed reports and images are available to your referring doctor on our physician web portal.

Need to Request an Appointment? Call (661) 631-8000 Today