What is Fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy uses low level x-rays to obtain real-time moving images of your internal structures. It displays the movement of a body part or dye (contrast material) through the body.

Common uses include diagnosis of gastrointestinal disorders, joint injections or orthopaedic pain and problems, as well as infertility examinations.

(For infertility testing: see Hysterosalpingogram under Women’s Services.).

In most cases, there is no prior preparation for a fluoroscopy exam. You may be asked to remove any jewelry, buckles, or items with metal enclosures which may hamper a clear reading. You may also be asked to wear a gown. Ensure that you tell the technologist if you are pregnant or suspect that you might be pregnant. Also inform your technologist if you have any old images so they may be used for comparison. If you are receiving an orthopaedic exam that requires dye (contrast) and you are on coumadin or plavix you will be given special instructions prior to the exam. For some gastrointestinal exams, you may be asked to fast for 8 hours before the exam.

What Happens During the Test?

Our technologist will take a brief medical history. You will be positioned on the fluoroscopy table either on your side or back. For gastrointestinal exams, you may be given barium (a contrast) to drink during the exam. If a barium enema is being performed, a small rubber tip will be inserted in your rectum where barium is allowed to flow into your intestine. There may be slight cramping. If you are undergoing an arthrogram for orthoapedic purposes, the affected joint is cleansed and a needle is inserted into the joint space where contrast or cortizone is released. For all procedures, a radiologist is in the room reviewing the images live time and you may be asked to change positions.

An arthrogram or joint injection can be performed in 30 minutes. Gastrointestinal exams can vary in length from as little as 30 minutes to a number of hours depending on how long it takes for the barium to reach the colon.

What To Expect

A digital mammogram with tomosynthesis is very similar to a traditional mammogram. The exam time is approximately the same as a digital mammogram and delivers a similar radiation dose. Just as with your digital mammogram, your breast will be compressed while the x-ray arm makes a quick arc over the breast taking a series of images at a number of angles. 2D and 3D images are obtained simultaneously. With tomosynthesis, additional compression and adjustment of the breast is not required.

You can choose from a traditional digital mammogram or opt for a digital mammogram plus tomosynthesis for an additional $40.

In some cases you may be asked to come back for additional imaging such as a diagnostic mammogram or ultrasound.

What You Need To Know

  • Do NOT use deodorant or perfume before your appointment.
  • Plan for a 30 minute visit.
  • If your last mammogram was not performed at MRNJ Radiology, please let your scheduler know.
  • Tomosynthesis is not covered by insurance at this time.

When Can I Expect Results?

A radiologist will review the images and send a report to your referring physician within one business day. You will receive a letter in the mail within one week from MRNJ Radiology. If additional images are needed, we will contact you to schedule this follow up and notify your doctor. Your doctor will review the report and contact you with the results.


  • MRI
  • MRA
  • CT Scan
  • CTA
  • Digital Mammography
  • Fluoroscopy
  • X-RAY

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