Exam Information

What is Fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy is a diagnostic tool that is commonly used by radiologists to capture real time images of the internal organs. A fluoroscopy unit consists of three different components: a fluoroscope, which moves over the body; a monitor, which displays the real time images; and an x-ray tube which captures the x-ray images and sends them to the fluoroscope. This technique is often used to observe the digestive tract (Upper GI series – Barium Swallow, Lower GI series – Barium Enema or “BE”). It is also used in conjunction with other medical procedures to help guide instruments through the body.


Upper GI – Barium Swallow
  • On the day before your exam, no solid foods after 6:00p.m. You may drink water until 11:00p.m.
  • Nothing to eat or drink on the morning of your exam.
Lower GI – Barium Enema

You will be given a two day prep kit that consists of laxatives to clean out your lower intestinal tract. Along with the laxatives, you will be given specific instructions as to when to take them. It is important that you follow and complete all the directions carefully, in order to avoid having to repeat the procedure.

Two days before your exam:

  • Drink only clear liquids. Meals may include clear broth, strained fruit juices, tea and coffee without milk, carbonated beverages, or Jell-O (not red Jell-O). Do not eat any solid food or milk.
  • At 7:30 p.m. take 4 Bisacodyl tablets with 8 ounces of liquid.

Additional Instructions:

  • On the day before your exam, please follow the instructions on the prep sheet carefully.
  • On the day of your procedure, please do not eat or drink anything until after your procedure.
  • Please inform the technologists if you think you might be pregnant.
  • Your primary physician will contact you with the results of the exam.
  • Please inform the technologists if you think you might be pregnant.

If you have any questions or concerns about the preparation for your exam, please feel free to contact us at (530) 674-9000.

What to Expect

You will be asked to remove all metal objects from your body to avoid any interference with the imaging. For most fluoroscopy studies you will be asked to lie down on the examination table, however, some studies may require that you stand between the table and the fluoroscope during the exam. If necessary, you will be asked to hold your breath for a short period of time. It is very important that you remain still while the images are being capture to prevent blurring. Typically, the length of a fluoroscopy study can vary depending on what type of exam is being performed.