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Barium Studies/Fluoroscopy

Thayer County Health Services uses radiologists from Advanced Medical Imaging (AMI) to interpret fluoroscopy images. Currently they are available at TCHS to perform fluoroscopy exams on Thursday mornings. Any procedures requiring the radiologist will be scheduled at this time. A dictated report will be available to your provider within 24 hours after the exam.

WHAT IS FLUOROSCOPY?
Fluoroscopy is a technique for obtaining “live” x-rays. It uses a continuous beam of x-rays to evaluate structures and movement within the body, such as food moving through the digestive tract. It can also be used to help a radiologist locate a foreign body or position a catheter or needle for a procedure. Contrast material that shows up on x-rays is either injected or more commonly swallowed, to outline blood vessels or organs. Fluoroscopy  may be used to evaluate the condition of the digestive or urinary tract. The patient may be lying down or standing during the procedure. A moveable camera extends over the patient and sends “live” images to a television monitor. The images are then interpreted by the radiologist.

WHO INTERPRETS MY FLUOROSCOPY EXAM?
Fluoroscopy exams are performed only when a radiologist is on-site. Thayer County Health Services uses radiologists from Advanced Medical Imaging (AMI). After your exam is performed, the radiologist will interpret the images; and a dictated report will be available to your provider within 24 hours.

CONTRAST AGENTS USED IN FLUOROSCOPY
There are two commonly used contrast materials used in fluoroscopy. Barium Sulfate is commonly used to opacify the GI tract (stomach, small and large intestines). The is most commonly administered orally. The amount of barium that is required depends upon they type of examination. Another contrast agent, which contains iodine, is often injected into the body part being examined. Before administration of IV contrast, the technologist will ask the patient about their allergies and medical history.

EXAMS COMMONLY PERFORMED IN FLUOROSCOPY:
Arthrogram: Radiologic exam of a joint after the injection of iodinated contrast material to outline the soft tissue and joint structures.

Lower GI tract/Barium Enema: A barium enema is an x-ray evaluation of the large intestine, also known as the colon. Barium is introduced into the colon through a rectal tube. Specific preparations are required prior to this examination and will be detailed at the time of scheduling.

Myelogram: A myelogram is an x-ray examination of the spinal cord and the space surrounding it, called the subarachnoid space. X-rays are taken after the injection of the contrast material through a needle placed by the radiologist in this space.

Upper GI tract: Upper GI series is an x-ray examination of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine. A barium swallow/esophagram is used to evaluate the pharynx and esophagus (swallowing function) only. You may be asked not to eat or drink prior to this examination.

Small Bowel Series: A small bowel series is generally done to evaluate the small bowel symptoms of malabsorption, GI bleeding, or small bowel obstruction. This procedure can take several hours, depending on the progression of barium through the small bowel. You may be asked not to eat or drink prior to this examination.

Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG): This is an x-ray examination of the bladder and lower urinary tract. A catheter is inserted into the bladder and filled with contrast material. Images are captrued of the bladder and urethra as the patient empties the bladder.