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Diagnostic Radiology

Fluoroscopy & Arthrogram

What is a Fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy is a procedure that uses a special table and x-ray tube along with contrast material to view organs that would normally not show up on a regular x-ray. Contrast media are various materials, such as barium, that help the radiologist and technologist to take excellent images of the area you and your doctor are concerned about. The exams most often performed under fluoroscopy are Barium Studies, Upper GI’s (UGI), Barium Enema, Small Bowel Series, IVP (study of the urinary track) and Cystography (study of the bladder area).

What is an Arthrogram?

A fluoroscopy is often combined with an arthrogram which is an imaging procedure that allows for detailed examination of tissue within the joints, such as cartilage, tendons or ligaments. Regular x-rays are able to identify solid body structures like bone, but soft tissues are harder to see.

An arthrogram is used to help identify these soft tissues, it is performed by a fluoroscopy guided contrast dye injection, directly into the joint area. This dye is absorbed by the tissue and becomes a visible grey / black pattern on an Xray, MRI or a CT Scan image. This procedure can be performed on a variety of joints including the shoulder, knee, hip, ankle, elbow.


What Should I Expect?

During the exam you will be asked to stand or lie on a table for a period of time. Fluoroscopy studies are often painless, however some exams can be somewhat uncomfortable. To help eliminate barium agents from the body, it is best to drink plenty of fluids for several days following the procedure. Your exam will take about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your study, after which you will be able to return to your normal activities. Some procedures of the small intestine can take as long as three hours with intermittent films every 30 minutes. You may ask for further information once the exam is scheduled.

How Should I Prepare for the Procedure?

Before some exams, you may be asked to avoid normal eating or drinking for a period of time. You may also be required to take a laxative prep kit to help clean out the large intestine for better visualization. You should continue medications prescribed by your doctor unless informed otherwise. You will probably be asked to wear a gown or scrubs and may have to remove items such as glasses, jewelry, dentures, hearing aids, etc. Women of child bearing years should always inform their technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.

How Do I Get The Results?

After your study is over, the images will be evaluated by one of our board-certified Radiologists with expertise in Diagnostic Imaging. A final report will be sent to your doctor, who can then discuss the results with you in detail. Should you have any questions regarding your Fluoroscopy study, we will be happy to discuss them with you.

Service Location

Fluoroscopy is available at El Camino Imaging Center.

Arthrogram is available at Alamogordo, Santa Fe, Farmington, and in Albuquerque: El Camino Imaging Center, Northwest Imaging and Heights MRI