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Fluoroscopy is one of the oldest and broadest areas of diagnostic radiology. In fluoroscopic studies, an x-ray imaging unit is used that can both take images and produce an image that can be seen on a TV screen. Cassettes with x-ray film can also be used to obtain a static image. The majority of fluoroscopic studies are upper gastrointestinal studies (UGIs), barium enemas (BEs), and intravenous pyelograms (IVPs). In these studies, a safe dense element, either barium or iodine, is used to block x-rays while taking the pictures.

Preparing for Your Exam

The patient preparation for fluoroscopy is crucial. Your doctor will inform you of these preparations. You can also call the Imaging Center where your study will be performed and a technologist will advise you of the proper steps toward a successful exam. Since the tests use x-rays, the technologist will ask females of childbearing age whether there is any chance they are pregnant. Be sure to tell your doctor and the staff at the Imaging Center about any possible allergies to iodine or x-ray dye prior to scheduling the procedure. The diabetic drug Glucophage should also be avoided 48 hours prior and after the iodinated contrast is used. A steroid prep could be performed if the dye and study is deemed medically necessary in allergic patients.

Upper GI, UGI & Small Bowel, Small Bowel Only: Do not eat, drink or smoke after midnight of the night before your exam.

Barium Enema, IVP, Voiding Cystogram: Begin a clear liquid diet at noon the day before your exam and drink one bottle of Magnesium Citrate. At 6:00 p.m. that same day, drink another bottle of Magnesium Citrate and take 2 Dulcolax tablets. At 10:00 pm the evening before your test, take 2 more Dulcolax tablets. Try to drink one eight ounce glass of water each hour from noon to bedtime. These items can be purchased over the counter from any pharmacy.