X-Ray and Fluoroscopy

X-ray

An X-ray is a quick, painless exam that produces images of the solid structures inside your body – such as your bones – as well as images of your chest to show lungs and heart size. A radiologic technologist takes the X-rays. You may experience discomfort during the exam depending on the position the technologist asks you to maintain. Please tell your technologist if you experiencing any pain. Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or could be pregnant prior to the test.

The examination is usually completed within 15-20 minutes. The X-ray results are read by a radiologist and your doctor will discuss the results of the
X-ray with you.

Commonly asked questions
Are X-rays dangerous?

  • The amount of radiation you are exposed to during an X-ray is so small that the risk of any damage to cells in you body is extremely low. The machine produces a tiny burst of radiation at a safe level. You cannot feel the radiation passing through your body.

Why do you place a “shield” over me?

  • While you are exposed to a low dose of radiation, it is still best to shield you from unnecessary exposure.

How do I find out my results?

  • Your doctor should contact you within 2-3 working days. Feel free to contact their office if you do not hear from them.

My pain is on the right side. Why are taking an X-ray of my left side?

  • As radiation passes through your body, it collects information of both sides. There are specific views taken of each body part in order to obtain the best diagnosis.

Will my cell phone be OK in the X-ray room?

  • Radiation will not affect a cell phone. You may need to remove it from you pocket if it will interfere with the x-rays.

Can I get an X-ray if I am pregnant?

  • In the event the benefit of an X-ray outweighs the risk, the technologist will take all necessary measures to protect your unborn child.

Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopy is a method of testing largely used to observe the digestive tract. A special X-ray machine, called a fluoroscope, is used. A radiologist performs the test with the assistance of a radiologic technologist. Winneshiek Medical Center offers the following tests:

Upper GI Series

GI stands for gastrointestinal, more commonly known as the digestive system. An Upper GI Series is an exam of the upper portion of your digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or could be pregnant prior to the exam. Expectant mothers, or women who think they may be pregnant, should not have an Upper GI Series.

What to expect

An Upper GI Series is performed as an outpatient procedure. A radiologic technologist will position you next to the fluoroscope. You will be asked to swallow a small cup of liquid barium or similar substance. The radiologist, using the fluoroscope, will capture images of the liquid as it flows into your digestive system. You may be asked to change positions throughout the exam.

The examination is usually completed within 20-30 minutes and you can resume normal activity and diet directly following the exam. Your doctor will discuss the results with you.

Commonly asked questions
Will I be under a form of anesthesia for an Upper GI Series?

  • No anesthesia is given. You will be asked to drink a liquid substance called barium, which highlights your organs on the X-ray.

Do you put a tube down my throat to look at my esophagus?

  • No.

How long will the test take?

  • An Upper GI Series will take about 20-30 minutes. If your doctor has ordered a Small Bowel Follow Through (SBFT) of your small intestine as well, that test can vary by person and may take up to 3 hours to complete.

Barium Enema

A barium enema is a special X-ray of the lower digestive tract, colon or large intestine. Since standard X-ray does not highlight soft tissue, a liquid barium solution is given by enema to make the colon and rectum visible to X-ray. A radiologist performs the test with the assistance of a radiologic technologist.  Your doctor will discuss the results with you.

Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or could be pregnant prior to the exam.

What to expect

Barium enema is performed as an outpatient procedure. You will be asked to lie down on a table and a radiologic technologist will position you next to the fluoroscope. The technologist will insert a tube into your rectum. A liquid barium solution will be gently given by enema and x-rays will be captured as the solution outlines your colon. While the liquid barium solution fills your colon, you may experience cramping and/or abdominal discomfort. You may be asked to change positions during the exam.  Following the exam, you will be asked to use the restroom to empty the barium from your colon.

Commonly asked questions

Will I be under a form of anesthesia for a barium enema?

  • No anesthesia is given.

How long will the test take?

  • A barium enema will take about 30-45 minutes.

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