Fluoroscopy, on the other hand, is an enhanced X-ray that produces a continuous or live (real-time) image on a monitor. Through the use of a fluoroscope–an instrument with a fluorescent screen–physicians are able to get a better picture of internal structures such as the kidneys, gallbladder, and digestive track.
In some cases, a contrast agent (dye) may be used to guide the procedure. This special dye helps produce images in greater detail than traditional X-ray film. Radiocontrast agents are usually barium or iodine-based. It is important to let your physician know if you have an allergy to either one of these agents.
Fluoroscopy can be used in a variety of situations, including:
- Orthopaedic surgery
- Catheter insertion
- Urological surgery
- Blood flow studies
- Angiography of the leg, heart, and cerebral vessels
- Implantation of pacemakers