Fluoroscopy And Digital X-Ray

Tri-City Radiology

Radiologists located in Kennewick, WA

The advanced technologies of fluoroscopy and digital X-ray imaging are powerful tools for medical procedures and diagnostic testing that sometimes take the place of more invasive methods. The team of board-certified diagnostic radiologists at Tri-City Radiology in Kennewick, Washington, offers the latest fluoroscopy and digital X-ray technologies for patients of all ages. When you need advanced testing and diagnostic services in a convenient, state-of-the-art facility, trust the team at Tri-City Radiology for all your fluoroscopy and digital X-ray needs. Call the office to make an appointment.

Fluoroscopy and Digital X-Ray Q & A

Tri-City Radiology

What is fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy is a live, moving X-ray that shows images of the inside of your body on a monitor. During a fluoroscopy procedure, an X-ray beam goes through your body and transmits the images to a screen continuously, so your doctor sees real-time moving images of structures within your body. This advanced technology is part of interventional medicine and has many advantages over more invasive surgical procedures.

Fluoroscopy as an imaging tool lets your doctor clearly see your body's systems, including:

  • Skeletal and muscular
  • Respiratory
  • Reproductive
  • Digestive
  • Urinary
  • Organs including your heart, kidneys, and lungs

When is a fluoroscopy needed?

Fluoroscopy is useful in diagnostic testing, exams, and surgical procedures including:

  • Barium X-rays to examine intestines
  • Arthrography (joint images)
  • Guided anesthetic injections for joints
  • Upper gastrointestinal testing and esophageal testing

Your physician may request fluoroscopy for a variety of conditions or procedures. The highly skilled radiologists and technologists are experts at providing the fluoroscopy services you need.

What can I expect during a fluoroscopy procedure?

Depending on the type of fluoroscopy you need, the procedure will vary. One of our board-certified radiologists may inject a contrast material (dye) into the area of your body being examined, or you may take it orally, or via an enema. Typically, you lie on an exam table, or stand, and follow instructions from the physician while he watches on the screen.

If you have a fluoroscopy to examine a joint, the doctor will inject a contrast substance. You may need to move your joint around so they can see how the substance flows around it. Often, this will be followed by an MRI.

The computer screen is monitored during the procedure to get a clear picture of your condition. The technologists keep you as comfortable as possible during the procedure, although in many cases, the experience isn’t painful or uncomfortable.

What is a digital X-ray?

X-rays are the most common form of diagnostic imaging used today. Digital X-ray imaging creates pictures of the inside of your body using electromagnetic waves (a form of radiation), so your doctor can diagnose health conditions. Digital X-rays send images directly to a computer screen rather than using film, as with traditional radiography. This helps keep wait times down!

Images from digital X-rays appear in shades of black and white. Your bones and other solid material appear white in an X-ray image, while soft tissue appears in different shades of gray. Digital X-rays are noninvasive and it’s usually a quick procedure that takes just a few minutes.

Digital X-rays can indicate health issues like broken bones, pneumonia, and many other diagnoses.

What should I expect during a digital X-ray?

Depending on the part of your body being X-rayed, you may need to wear a lead apron to protect other parts of your body from the radiation. Typically, you lie down on an examining table or stand in front of the X-ray equipment. Your technologist will help position you correctly so they can get the most accurate images.

You should wear loose clothing or a hospital gown, if necessary, and remove all jewelry.

Are digital X-rays safe?

With both film and digital X-rays, you are exposed to a small amount of radiation, but it’s generally safe. For most X-rays, the amount of radiation is similar to the amount of radiation you naturally get from the environment over a 10-day period. The benefits of X-rays outweigh the risk of radiation exposure and include:

  • Noninvasive, painless way to help diagnose disease
  • Support for medical and surgical treatment planning

Younger patients are more sensitive to radiation, so the highly skilled doctors and technologists at Tri-City Radiology take special care to protect children from radiation exposure during X-ray imaging. Additionally, pregnant women should avoid X-rays whenever possible so as not to pose any risk for their babies. Luckily, alternative imaging methods like ultrasound are entirely safe for both mother and baby.