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Why Choose Us?

At Progressive Radiology we offer:

  • The same or next day availability.
  • Highly trained and compassionate technologists who will assist you through the procedure with ease.
  • On-site board-certified radiologist to perform and interpret your exam.
  • Prompt reporting of results to your medical provider.
  • Complimentary copies of your images on film or CD on request by your doctor.

What is Fluoroscopy and how is it commonly used?

Fluoroscopy is the use of an x-ray system that allows the radiologist to view x-ray images on a computer monitor over time. Simple examples include the motion of your lungs and diaphragm when you breathe, or the motion of your joints or spine.


The table on which the patient lies can be moved easily in all positions, even stood upright; the camera can be repositioned as the monitor is viewed, and the size of the picture can be constantly adjusted. These features help spare the patient any unnecessary radiation exposure that would result from taking large radiographs. The radiologist turns the x-rays on for the minimum amount of time needed to see the important anatomy. To limit radiation, images are captured digitally or on film only when necessary.

Many types of fluoroscopic exams use different types of contrast agent that allow various organs to be watched as they function. For instance:

  • Liquids or gas. Produced by swallowing sodium bicarbonate, liquids or gas are taken by mouth or given as an enema to create pictures of the inside lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Contrast agent. Alternatively, contrast agent may be given intravenously or through a catheter placed in an opening to the genitourinary tract to provide pictures of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.
  • Fluoroscopy. Occasionally fluoroscopy is used to guide needles into joints so they can be filled with contrast agent to demonstrate the otherwise invisible cartilage or joint lining; or to administer medications into the joints.

Some of the fluoroscopic exams we commonly perform at Progressive Radiology:

NameWhat’s SeenPossible Diagnoses
Barium Swallow or EsophagramThe act of swallowing, the lining of the esophagus, strictures, refluxGastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), esophageal stricture, diverticulum, esophagitis, tumors
Upper GI SeriesEsophagus, Stomach, DuodenumUlcers, gastritis, tumors, strictures, pyloric stenosis
Small Bowel Follow ThroughSmall intestineStrictures, obstructions, tumors, diseases of the lining of the bowel, abnormal motion, Crohn’s disease
Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)Kidneys, ureters and bladderObstruction, stone disease, tumors, anatomic variants
Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)Bladder, sometimes the ureters and inside of the kidneysChecks for abnormal reflux from bladder upstream into the ureters
Joint injection for ArthrogramUnder some circumstances, injections for MR arthrograms will be performed under fluoroscopic guidance

How should I prepare for this procedure?

Preparations for these examinations vary greatly, so it is best to consult with our scheduling experts and at times with your doctor. The following are only guidelines.

Barium Swallow, Upper GI, or Small Bowel Follow Through

  • Have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. Medications can be taken with a small amount of water.
  • If the patient is a newborn or bottle-fed infant, the last feeding can be at 7:00 am the day of appointment.  Parents will need to bring an empty bottle for infants to drink oral barium.
  • If the patient is diabetic, bring juice or crackers for after the exam.
  • If the study includes a small bowel follow through (SBFT), anticipate that the exam may take as long as 4 hours for the barium to reach your colon.

Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)

  • No special preparation is needed.

Women should always inform our scheduling expert at the time of booking, and the technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.

What should I expect during this exam?

  • Fluoroscopy is generally painless.
  • Depending on the type of fluoroscopic test you undergo, in general you will be asked to lie or stand between the X-ray machine and table after putting on a gown.
  • You may be repositioned frequently to enable the radiologist or technologist to capture different views. 
  • For studies of the GI tract, sometimes the radiologist will apply gentle pressure to your abdomen better to view certain structures.
  • For a small bowel follow through, radiographs of your abdomen will be taken at various intervals (roughly 15-30 minutes apart) to watch the progress of barium through the small intestine all the way to your colon.  Depending on how quickly the barium passes, you may be finished anywhere between 45 minutes and 4 hours after drinking the barium.  At some times during the study, the radiologist will use the fluoroscope to observe the motion of your intestines.
  • For GI studies you will be asked to drink various types of liquid contrast agent, and may be asked to swallow effervescent granules to produce gas in your stomach. 
  • Voiding Cystourethrogram involves introduction of contrast agent through the urethra.  See Pediatric Service sections for further details.

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