Fluoroscopy (UGI, BE, VCUG)
Fluoroscopy is a study of moving body structures that you could compare to an x-ray "movie." A continuous x-ray beam is passed through the body part being examined that is transmitted to a TV-like monitor so that the body part and its motion can be seen in detail. Fluoroscopy is used in many types of examinations and procedures, such as barium X-rays for the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract known as upper gastrointestinal (UGI) and barium enema (BE). Fluoroscopy is also utilized to evaluate iodinated contrast exams, such as (VCUG) voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) and hysterosalpingogram (HSG).
What types of exams are performed using fluoroscopy?
Esophagram or Barium Swallow
An esophagram is a procedure performed to examine the swallowing function and evaluation of the pharynx and esophagus. Images are taken as the patient drinks a liquid contrast agent called barium. The barium coats the anatomy and aids in the detection of abnormalities such as inflammation of the esophagus and abnormal swallowing function.
Upper GI Series (UGI)
An UGI series is performed to evaluate abnormalities of the esophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine. Images are taken as the patient drinks barium. The liquid agent coats the esophagus and stomach lining. An UGI series may detect abnormalities such as ulcers, tumors or inflammation of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. Patients who undergo this procedure are usually those who have difficulty swallowing, are complaining of chest or abdominal pain or have severe indigestion.
Small Bowel Series (SBFT)
A small bowel series is the examination of the small intestine, the portion of intestines between the stomach and the colon. Images are taken after the patient drinks barium. The barium coats the intestinal wall, aiding in the detection of abnormalities such as bowel obstructions or "Crohn's" disease, an inflammatory condition of the small intestine that causes shallow crater-like ulcers on the inside surface of the bowel. As the barium travels through the intestines, images are taken at timed intervals to determine the transit time from your stomach to your large intestine. A small bowel series may take anywhere from 1 to 24 hours depending on your metabolism and your bodies peristalsis frequency - the muscular movements that move food through your intestine.
Barium Enema (BE)
A Barium enema is a procedure performed to diagnose disorders of the large intestine, colon, and rectum, such as colonic tumors, polyps, and diverticula. This procedure involves the filling of the lower gastrointestinal tract with barium which coats the intestinal wall and appears bright white on the radiographic images. Images are taken as the barium travels through the colon and again once the barium is evacuated.
Hysterosalpingography is procedure performed to examine women who have trouble becoming pregnant. This study evaluates the shape and structure of the uterus as well as the patency (openness) of the fallopian tubes. Hysterosalpingography is able to identify congenital abnormalities of the uterine cavity and best performed one week after menstruation but, before ovulation to make certain that you are not pregnant during the exam. For more information contact your physician.
Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)
A voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) is an x-ray examination of the bladder and lower urinary tract. A catheter is inserted into the urinary bladder. The bladder is then filled with a contrast agent. After the catheter is withdrawn, several images of the bladder and urethra are captured as the patient empties their bladder. The urethra is the small tube in which urine leaves the bladder and is eliminated from the body.
Myelography is the x-ray examination of the spinal cord and the space surrounding it. X-rays are taken after injecting a radiopaque contrast agent through a needle placed into this space. Myelography can demonstrate distortions of the spinal cord, canal and nerve roots. It can also identify herniated or ruptured intervertebral disks as well as conditions such as spinal stenosis, where the entire spinal canal is narrowed.
Arthrography is the radiographic examination of a joint after the injection of a radiopaque contrast material. This contrast agent outlines the soft tissue and joint structures on the radiographs. Today, arthrography is commonly performed to introduce the contrast agent gadolinium to enhance the joint space and provide greater image detail on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations.
What can I expect during the exam?
Exams performed using fluoroscopy require the use of a contrast agent. Depending on the area of the body to be examined, the contrast agent may be introduced into the body through injection, swallowing or an enema. Your physician will give you specific instructions for the preparations for your exam.
Will I be exposed to radiation?
While fluoroscopy is considered a safe medical imaging technique, you will be exposed to x-ray radiation. Every effort will be made to minimize your exposure. As with any radiologic procedure, be sure to inform your physician or the x-ray technologist if there is a possibility you might be pregnant.
How long will the exam take?
Depending on the type of exam to be performed, your exam may take 30 minutes up to 24 hours.
How do I prepare for the exam?
Most exams performed using fluoroscopy will require some preparation, though instructions will vary depending on the type of examination and the contrast agent to be used. Your physician will give you specific instructions to follow including exam preparation information.
Who interprets the results and how do I get them?
Following your exam, a radiologist will analyze and interpret the images from your exam and prepare a full report. This report will be sent directly to your physician who will share the results with you. To request a copy of the report, you may contact your physician's office or Midland Memorial Hospital's Medical Records Department at (432) 221-1600.
How do I schedule an appointment?
The physician's office will either schedule the appointment or may have you call and make arrangements. To schedule an appointment you may contact us at (432) 682-9729.
What do I need to bring with me the day of the exam?
You will need to bring the order your physician gave you, a form of personal identification, and any insurance or Medicare information. If you are taking any medications, please print and complete the second page of the Pocket Medication Card and bring the list with you. Please do not bring the medications. This will help expedite your visit and reduce the possibility of losing any of your medications.
Most PPOs and private insurances cover fluoroscopy procedures. Some insurers may require prior authorization. Your physician's office may obtain prior authorization if required by your insurance company.
Midland Memorial Hospital
400 Rosalind Redfern Grover Parkway
Midland, Texas 79701-9980