Fluoroscopic exams

About Fluoroscopic Exams

A fluoroscopic exam is an X-ray that makes it possible for your doctor to see your internal organs in motion. 

  • Preparing for your fluoroscopic exam

    Each fluoroscopic exam is different. For yours, you might 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

    Ask your doctor what your pre-exam requirements are. 

    If your exam requires having barium enemas or an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), you might have to do a colon cleansing prep prior to the exam. You can purchase the colon cleansing prep kit at your local pharmacy. Ask your doctor which one is best for you. 

  • Arriving for your appointment

    You’ll need to arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment so that you can check in and complete paperwork. 

  • What happens during your fluoroscopic exam

    You’ll be asked to put on a hospital gown for the exam. Also, it’s often necessary to use a special substance (called “radiopaque”) to make a part of your body show up more clearly on the scan. If you need the substance, you’ll be given it as something to drink or it might be inserted through your rectum.

    During the exam, you’ll lie on a flat table while the X-ray machine is taking images. You might be asked to change positions at various points during the exam. 

    The time it takes to complete a fluoroscopic exam varies. You should plan for your entire visit — from check in to check out — to be at least 1½ hours. In some cases, it might take longer. 

  • What happens after your fluoroscopic exam

    Most patients can usually return to their normal activities and diet immediately after the exam. You might need to wait 24 hours after your exam before you start taking certain medications again. Also, depending on what type of procedure you had, you might also need to drink plenty of water after your exam. Be sure to ask your doctor about post-exam instructions.