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How is Fluoroscopy performed?

Fluoroscopy may be part of an examination or procedure that is done on either an outpatient or inpatient basis. The specific type of procedure or examination being done will determine whether any preparation prior to the procedure is required. Your doctor should notify you of any preprocedure instructions.

Although each facility may have specific protocols in place and specific examinations and procedures may differ, fluoroscopy procedures generally follow this process:

  1. An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted in the patient's hand or arm.
  2. The patient will be positioned on the X-ray table.
  3. For procedures that require catheter insertion, such as cardiac catheterization or catheter placement, an additional line insertion site may be used in the groin, elbow, or other site.
  4. A special X-ray scanner will be used to produce the fluoroscopic images of the body structure being examined or treated.
  5. A dye or contrast substance may be injected into the IV line in order to better visualize the structure being studied.
  6. The type of care required after the procedure will depend on the type of procedure done. Certain procedures, such as cardiac catheterization, will require a recovery period of several hours with immobilization of the leg or arm where the cardiac catheter was inserted. Other procedures may require less time for recovery. The doctor will give more specific instructions related to care after the examination or procedure.

Locations for Fluoroscopy