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Fluoroscopy at UPMC

What Is Fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy is a test that looks inside the body.

While a normal x-ray takes a static image, fluoroscopy uses a constant x-ray beam to produce moving images.

Fluoroscopy often involves a contrast agent, like a dye or barium, so the structures inside the body show up better.

Depending on what part of the body your doctor needs to see, you'll receive the contrast agent:

  • By a shot or an IV.
  • By mouth.
  • As an enema.
  • Injected into a fistula or ostomy.

Doctors often use fluoroscopy to diagnose problems in the digestive tractor in a joint like the shoulder, wrist, or knee.

Find an imaging location near you

What Are the Benefits of Fluoroscopy Exams?

The moving images of fluoroscopy give more details than the still images of an x-ray or MRI.

For instance, your doctor can see how:

  • Blood moves through the heart.
  • Digestive waste moves through the intestine.
  • A joint moves.

This makes it easier for doctors to diagnose a wide range of health problems.

You can often go home the same day. It usually doesn't require sedation.

After Your Fluoroscopy

If your test doesn't involve sedation, you can leave the hospital soon after the exam.

If you had a contrast agent, you may receive details on how to flush it out. For instance, you may need to drink more water.

Watch out for symptoms such as:

  • Redness, pain, or swelling at an IV or injection site. This could suggest an infection.
  • Hives, itchy skin, or nausea. This could suggest an infection or allergic reaction.

If you have any symptoms you're concerned about, call your doctor right away.

Your test results

Once your doctor reviews the results, they'll call you or schedule an in-person visit to discuss them.

You can also view your test results at your free UPMC patient portal account.