Vanderbilt Radiology Services / Fluoroscopic Exams

Fluoroscopic Exams

A fluoroscopic exam is an X-ray that makes it possible to see your internal organs in motion. It is often necessary to use a special substance (radiopaque) to make a part of your body show up more clearly on the scan. If you need the substance, you may get it as something to drink or it may be inserted through your rectum.

Example of fluoroscopic exam

Preparing for a Fluoroscopic Exam

Each fluoroscopic exam is different. You may need to:

  • stop eating or drinking, including water, after midnight the night before the exam
  • stop taking certain medicines several days before the exam
  • stop smoking several hours before the exam

If you are having barium enemas or an IVP (intravenous pyelogram), you may be required to do a colon cleansing prep prior to the exam. You can purchase the colon cleansing prep kit at your local pharmacy.

Arriving for Your Appointment

Arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment time to check in and complete paperwork.

What Happens During and After the Exam?

The exam will vary in length. You should plan for your entire visit to be at least 1½ hours. In some cases, it may take longer. 

After the exam, you can usually return immediately to your normal activities and diet. You may need to wait 24 hours after your exam before you start taking certain medicines. Depending on what type of procedure you had, you may want to drink plenty of water after your exam.