Fluoroscopy allows real-time x-ray viewing with high temporal resolution, that is, it is like a video of an x-ray. It is used for dynamic studies primarily involving the upper respiratory tract and upper gastrointestinal tract.
Fluoroscopy is performed using our fluoroscope, with digital video recordings made of the study for later analysis. Often gastrointestinal fluoroscopy requires the administration of barium or other contrast agents mixed with food. These act as a “dye” which makes the food visible as it passes into the mouth, is swallowed and passes down the oesophagus into the stomach.
Examples of fluoroscopic studies include:
- Upper airway dysfunction eg tracheal and bronchial collapse
- Pharyngeal disorders such as assessment of dysphagia, choking, swallowing abnormalities, congenital cricopharyngeal disorders
- Abnormal oesophageal motility egmegaoesophagus
- Tracheal or oesophageal strictures
- Hiatal hernias
- Vascular ring anomalies
- Intra-operative implant placement
- Angiography such as mesenteric portography
Patients are generally referred via our Medicine and Surgery departments for fluoroscopic studies, as this is often a complimentary modality to other specialist procedures such as endoscopy. In some cases there are specific requirements such as fasting (if the patient needs to be sufficiently hungry to eat a meal).