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Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopy

What is Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract X-ray?

Upper gastrointestinal tract radiography, also called an upper GI, is an x-ray examination of the pharynx, esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine (also known as the duodenum) that uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and an orally ingested contrast material called barium.
Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the upper GI tract is coated with barium, the radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.

 

An x-ray examination that evaluates only the pharynx and esophagus is called a barium swallow.
In addition to drinking barium, some patients are also given baking-soda crystals (similar to Alka-Seltzer) to further improve the images. This procedure is called an air-contrast or double-contrast upper GI.

 

What are some common uses of the procedure?

An upper GI examination helps to evaluate the digestive function and to detect:

  • ulcers
  • tumors
  • inflammation of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum
  • hiatal hernias
  • scarring
  • blockages
  • abnormalities of the muscular wall of GI tissues

 

The procedure is also used to help diagnose symptoms such as:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • chest and abdominal pain
  • reflux (a backward flow of partially digested food and digestive juices), also known as gerd
  • unexplained vomiting
  • severe indigestion
  • blood in the stool (indicating internal GI bleeding)

 

For more information visit: WWW.RADIOLOGYINFO.ORG

 

Barium Enema

What is Lower GI Tract X-ray?

Lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract radiography, also called a lower GI or barium enema, is an x-ray examination of the large intestine, also known as the colon. The appendix and a portion of the distal small intestine may also be included. The lower GI uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material called barium.

 

What are some common uses of the procedure?
A physician may order a lower GI examination to detect:

  • benign tumors (such as polyps)
  • cancer
  • signs of other intestinal illnesses.

 

The procedure is frequently performed to help diagnose symptoms such as:

  • chronic diarrhea
  • blood in stools
  • constipation
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • unexplained weight loss
  • a change in bowel habits
  • suspected blood loss
  • abdominal pain

 

Images of the small bowel and colon are also used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease, a group of disorders that includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Upper GI FAQs

How does the procedure work?

X-rays are a form of radiation like light or radio waves. X-rays pass through most objects, including the body. Once it is carefully aimed at the part of the body being examined, an x-ray machine produces a small burst of radiation that passes through the body, recording an image on photographic film or a special digital image recording plate.

 

Fluoroscopy uses a continuous or pulsed x-ray beam to create a sequence of images that are projected onto a fluorescent screen, or television-like monitor. When used with an oral contrast material, which clearly defines the area being examined by making it appear bright white, this special x-ray technique makes it possible for the physician to view internal organs in motion. Still images are also captured and stored either on film or electronically on a computer.

 

Until recently, x-ray images were maintained as hard film copy (much like a photographic negative). Today, most images are digital files that are stored electronically. These stored images are easily accessible and are frequently compared to current x-ray images for diagnosis and disease management.

 

How is the procedure performed?

This examination is usually performed on an outpatient basis and is often scheduled in the morning to reduce the patient's fasting time.

 

A radiologic technologist and a radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, guide the patient through the upper GI series.

 

As the patient drinks the liquid barium, which resembles a light-colored milkshake, the radiologist will watch the barium pass through the patient's digestive tract on a fluoroscope, a device that projects radiographic images in a movie-like sequence onto a monitor. The exam table will be positioned at different angles and the patient's abdomen may be compressed to help spread the barium. Once the upper GI tract is adequately coated with the barium, still x-ray images will be taken and stored for further review.

 

The patient will be asked to hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.

 

For a double-contrast upper GI series, the patient will swallow baking-soda crystals that create gas in the stomach while additional x-rays are taken.

 

When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.

 

This exam is usually completed within 30 minutes.

Lower GI (Barium Enema) FAQs

How does the procedure work?

Fluoroscopy uses a continuous x-ray beam to create a sequence of images that are projected onto a fluorescent screen, or television-like monitor. When used with a contrast material, which clearly defines the area being examined by making it appear bright white, this special x-ray technique makes it possible for the physician to view internal organs in motion.

 

How is the procedure performed?

The lower GI exam is usually done on an outpatient basis and is often scheduled in the morning to reduce the patient's fasting time. A radiology technologist and a radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, guide the patient through the barium enema.

 

The patient is positioned on the examination table and the technologist will then insert a small tube into the rectum. Barium or barium and air may also be injected through the tube. In some circumstances, the radiologist or referring physician may prefer a water and iodine solution rather than barium. Next, a series of x-ray images is taken. The patient may be repositioned frequently in order to image the colon from several angles. When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained. Once the x-ray images are completed, the patient will then expel barium in the restroom. In some cases, the additional x-ray images will be taken. A barium enema is usually completed within 30 to 60 minutes.

 

What will I experience during and after the procedure?

As the barium fills your colon, you will feel the need to move your bowel. You may feel abdominal pressure or even minor cramping. Most people tolerate the mild discomfort easily. The tip of the enema tube is specially designed to help you hold in the barium. If you are having trouble, let the technologist know.

 

During the imaging process, you will be asked to turn from side to side and to hold several different positions. With air contrast studies of the bowel (air contrast barium enema), the table may be turned into an upright position.

 

After the examination, you may be given a laxative or enema to wash the barium out of your system. You can resume a regular diet and take orally administered medications unless told otherwise by your doctor. You may be able to return to a normal diet and activities immediately after the exam. You will be encouraged to drink additional water for 24 hours after the examination.

 

Your stools may appear white for a day or so as your body clears the barium liquid from your system. Some people experience constipation after a barium enema. If you do not have a bowel movement for more than two days after your exam or are unable to pass gas rectally, call your physician promptly. You may need an enema or laxative to assist in eliminating the barium.

Prep

Patient Preparations for Fluoroscopy

BARIUM ENEMA

Please purchase Dulcolax tablets, one bottle of Magnesium Citrate, and one Fleet Enema Kit over the counter from your pharmacy before the exam.

 

36 hours before your examination: Begin clear liquid diet (*see below). Stay on clear liquid diet for the entire 36 hours.

 

The day before your examination:

At 12:00 noon: Take 2 Dulcolax tablets

At 2:00 p.m.: Take half of the Magnesium Citrate with 8 ounces of water

At 6:00 p.m.: Take the remaining half of Magnesium Citrate with 8 ounces of water

 

One hour before your examination use the Fleet Enema Kit

 

*Clear liquid diet: Water, clear flavored waters, apple juice, white grape juice, tea or coffee. No creamer of any kind, clear sodas, Gatorade or PowerAde – good source of electrolytes, clear chicken broth, clear beef broth, clear vegetable broth, chicken or beef bouillon, Jell-O, popsicles.

*NOTE: Drink plenty of liquids. Do NOT become dehydrated!!! The more liquids you drink, the better the laxatives will work.

 

ESOPHOGRAM

Adults: You may not eat or drink anything 6 hours prior to your exam.

 

UGI with KUB with AIR

Adults: You may not eat or drink anything 6 hours prior to your exam.

 

UGI SMALL BOWEL

Adults: You may not eat or drink anything 6 hours prior to your exam. .

 

SMALL BOWEL

Adults: You may not eat or drink anything 6 hours prior to your exam.