4 Common Uses of Fluoroscopy

Flu­o­roscopy, or flu­o­ro, is made up of live” X‑ray images that when they are put togeth­er look like a movie. A flu­o­ro­scope allows med­ical staff to see bones and also helps physi­cians to iden­ti­fy soft tis­sue pathology.

Flu­o­roscopy helps reduce the inva­sive­ness of a surgery. Pri­or to flu­o­roscopy, physi­cians had to sur­gi­cal­ly open a patient to see the form and func­tion of a cer­tain body part. A large inci­sion through skin and sev­er­al lay­ers of soft tis­sue or bone would need to be made to view the anato­my in its entire­ty. With the help of a flu­o­ro­scope, inci­sions can be small­er, thus great­ly short­en­ing recov­ery time.

Today, many diag­nos­tic and ther­a­peu­tic exams and surg­eries ben­e­fit from flu­o­roscopy. Below are 4 com­mon uses of fluoroscopy:

  1. A radi­ol­o­gist can use bar­i­um to check the func­tions of the stom­ach, the small and large intestines, colon and rec­tum. Since X‑rays often shoot com­plete­ly through these soft tis­sues, bar­i­um adds den­si­ty to these anatomies so that they can be monitored.
  2. Dur­ing a swal­low study, a speech lan­guage pathol­o­gist can use flu­o­roscopy to see if food is going to the right place when swal­lowed. They can also check to see if parts of the patients mouth and throat are work­ing properly.
  3. In car­diac pro­ce­dures, dye can be inject­ed into the coro­nary arter­ies to show blood flow or to inves­ti­gate poten­tial block­ages. Catheters may be placed more eas­i­ly due to flu­o­ro­scop­ic guidance.
  4. Sev­er­al spine and joint injec­tions can accu­rate­ly be made using flu­o­roscopy after dye is inject­ed. These injec­tions can be both diag­nos­tic, to see if there is a greater under­ly­ing pathol­o­gy, or ther­a­peu­tic, some­times pro­vid­ing full relief for an extend­ed peri­od of time.

These are just a few of the most com­mon uses and ben­e­fits of fluoroscopy. 

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