What is an X-Ray and Fluoroscopy?
This is an imaging technique (low dose) that uses x-rays to obtain real-time moving images of the internal structures of a patient through the use of a fluoroscope. The fluoroscope consists of an x-ray source and fluorescent screen between which a patient is placed allowing the images to be recorded and played on a monitor, for live viewing by our board certified radiologists. There are many different types of Diagnostic Xray examinations, as detailed below. Your healthcare provider will make an arrangements with you and schedule your appointment if necessary.
Registration for your Exam
A member of our Pre-Registration staff may call you to pre-register you for this appointment. If contacted, this will save you time on the day of your appointment. If you have any questions about your exam or if you wish to reschedule your exam, please call the Central Scheduling Department at 413-447-2451 and they will be happy to assist you. The Central Scheduling Department hours are Monday thru Friday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm.
If you would like to have an English language interpreter at the time of your appointment, please inform us at the time you book your appointment or call the Central Scheduling Department to arrange for one.
Diagnostic X-Ray Exams:
MRI Arthrogram/ Steroid Arthrogram: is a diagnostic procedure that uses contrast dye injected into a specific ordered body part. The procedure is done under x-ray guidance and is used to commonly diagnosis or treat the specific indicated body part. Depending on which exam is ordered the patient will either have steroids or MRI contrast injected into the joint. MRI arthrograms are immediately followed by an MRI of the indicated part. Patients should discontinue blood thinners 5-7 days prior to exam, unless instructed otherwise by attending physician. Arthrogram procedures take approximately 30-40 minutes.
Esophogram (Barium Swallow): is a diagnostic exam performed under x-ray guidance while drinking liquid barium to assess for heartburn, gastric reflux, aspiration, or dysphagia. This procedure is done with the patient positioned in both upright and laying down positions. Patients are required to be NPO (nothing by mouth) 8 hours prior to exam. When exam is completed patients are encouraged to drink extra fluids and to resume normal medications and diet. Stool may also appear chalky (white) in appearance which is normal. Approximate length of exam is 15-20 minutes.
Upper GI: is a diagnostic exam performed under x-ray guidance while drinking liquid barium and other contrast agents to assess the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine (duodenum), and upper digestive system. This procedure is done with the patient positioned in both upright and laying down positions. Patients are required to be NPO (nothing by mouth) 8 hours prior to exam. The approximate length of exam is 15-20 minutes. When the exam is completed patients are encouraged to drink extra fluids for 24 hours and to resume normal medications and diet. Stool may also appear chalky (white) in appearance which is normal.
Small Bowel (Motility Study): is a diagnostic procedure performed under x-ray guidance along with the use of traditional x-ray imaging (flat plates) while drinking liquid barium to assess the small and large intestines, bowel, and other problems of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract not explained by an upper GI or barium enema exam. This exam is a timed procedure and can vary in length depending on the movement of barium throughout the digestive system. Approximate length of exam can vary between 2-4 hours. Patients must be NPO (nothing by mouth) 8 hours prior to exam. When exam is completed patients are encouraged to drink extra fluids for 24 hours and to resume normal medications and diet. Stool may also appear chalky (white) in appearance which is normal.
Barium Enema: is a diagnostic procedure performed under x-ray guidance using a rectal tip inserted into the rectum while inducing liquid contrast agents into the body. This exam is used to assess changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diverticulitis or polyps. The patient is required to be in a laying down position, while adjusting their body into other necessary positions. The approximate length of this exam is 60-90 minutes. Patient should follow prior bowel prep and diet instructions from ordering physician before exam. A clear liquid diet is required 24 hours prior to exam for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the day of your procedure do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours before your scheduled exam time. When exam is complete stool may appear chalky (white) which is normal. Patient can also resume normal diet and medications.
Hysterosalpingogram: is a diagnostic procedure performed under x-ray guidance. The patient will be positioned on the table as if having a pelvic exam. The OBGYN will then place a tiny balloon catheter into the cervix using a sterile technique, while injecting a radiolucent contrast agent. The Radiologist will image the cervix as dye is injected. This exam is used to determine whether the fallopian tubes, which pass the egg from the ovary to the uterus, are open or after a sterility procedure to ensure fallopian tubes are closed. During the exam you may feel cramping, which is common and suggestion of ibuprofen is recommended prior. It is recommended taking a home pregnancy test prior to exam to eliminate the risk of pregnancy. When the exam is complete the patient may experience a slight discharge of contrast or spotting, which is normal. This exam takes approximately 30 minutes.
Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG): is a diagnostic procedure performed under x-ray guidance to take pictures of the urinary system. Patients may come to the radiology department catheterized or will be catheterized in the department by a nurse, using a sterile technique. After catheterization has happened the technologist will attach a connector, IV Tubing, and begin injecting a contrast agent along with normal saline to fill the bladder. As the bladder is filling the radiologist will be imaging the pelvic and stomach area evaluating anatomy, while moving the patient into various positions. Once the bladder is full, the catheter may or may not be removed and the patient will be instructed to void onto the x-ray table. It is important to void while under fluoroscope to evaluate for certain conditions, otherwise the test will be inconclusive. The exam will take approximately 60 minutes.
Lumbar Puncture/ Myelogram: is a diagnostic procedure performed under x-ray guidance. It is an imaging study of the spinal cord, or more specifically the spinal canal which houses various nerves which makeup the spinal cord. A myelogram can be of the neck (cervical myelogram), or the lower back (lumbar myelogram). A myelogram is a thorough way to examine if a bone spur or arthritis is pinching a nerve, or if disk herniation is present. It is also used to collect CSF Fluid to determine if a condition is present within the body. A myelogram requires the injection of contrast into the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and nerves that branch off the spinal cord. This allows nerves and the spinal cord to be outlined on the imaging device. The contrast is injected threw a tiny spinal needle that is placed into the back using a sterile technique. Once the needle is place either additional contrast agents will be injected or CSF fluid withdrawn to send for laboratory testing. It is preferable to have only fluids 4 hours before the procedure. After the procedure patients will remain flat for 2-3 hours, with the head slightly elevated, while waiting for additional instructions. Diet can be resumed and caffeine intake is encouraged to reduce headaches. This exam will take approximately 30-60 minutes.
Sitz Marker Study: is most often used with patients who are suffering from chronic constipation. During the test tiny “markers” are used to see how fast food is moving through the intestines. The patients should pick up a capsule with instructions. The capsule contains the tiny markers that will be ingested. It is important that the patient comes back 5 days after ingesting capsule or as specifically directed by ordering physician. On the 5th day or on “directed” days the patient will come to the radiology department for an x-ray of the abdomen. It is advised to wear pants free of metal or you will be directed to change into a hospital gown. This exam takes approximately 5 minutes.
How do I obtain results?
Your images will be reviewed and read by our board certified radiologists and a report will be sent to your doctor. This generally takes 24 to 48 hours. Your doctor will inform you of the results.