At Salinas Valley Imaging we offer more than general diagnostic X-ray, utilizing fluoroscopy for more complex imaging needs. Our fluoroscopy suite is capable of performing the most advanced fluoroscopy examinations both quickly and comfortably while significantly reducing our patients’ exposure to radiation and overall exam time.

Fluoroscopy

What is Fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy is an X-ray imaging technique commonly used to obtain both still images and “real-time” moving images of the body’s internal structures.

During most fluoroscopy procedures, patients receive a contrast material either orally, intravenously or rectally. This contrast material shows up internally as a dye, highlighting the area to facilitate examination. A physician will then use X-ray technology to take internal pictures and transmit them to a computer for review.

Fluoroscopy is used for a variety of specialized procedures. Some of the more common examinations include MRI arthrogram (utilizing both fluoroscopy and MRI technology), barium enema, esophagram, hysterosalpingogram (HSG), and upper gastrointestinal/small bowel series.

For more information on Fluoroscopy and other radiology procedures, please visit www.radiologyinfo.org.

How do I prepare?

We suggest wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your examination. Upon arrival you will be asked to change into a medical gown. Please bring only necessary personal items, as you also may be asked to remove items like hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dentures depending on which area of the body is being scanned.

As always, if your questions are not answered here, please contact our medical staff by phone at 831-775-5200. We are available Monday through Friday 7:30am–6:00pm.

 

ARTHROGRAM

What is an Arthrogram? ?

An arthrogram, or intra-articular injection, is a diagnostic tool used in conjunction with MRI or CT to evaluate joints including hips, wrists, ankles, shoulders, knees, etc. It is particularly effective in detecting tears or lesions of joint structures and ligaments. This is a contrast injection into the joint that enhances the visualization of structures and aides the evaluation of joint abnormalities, tears, and other injuries.

How do I prepare?

No specific preparation is required for an arthrogram injection. Since an MRI will follow the procedure, we will ask you to remove watches, jewelry, credit cards, coins and any other metallic objects from your person. We suggest bringing only necessary personal items to the examination.

Please inform your doctor if you have any type of metal in your body, such as a cardiac pacemaker, cerebral aneurysm clip or ear implants. In these cases, patients cannot be scanned due to the magnetic field associated with an MRI examination. Instead, we can perform a CT with no magnetic field.

What should I expect during my procedure?

Two experts will guide you through your arthrogram study: a radiologic technologist, who will operate the equipment, and a radiologist, who will perform the procedure and interpret radiology examinations.

First, your skin will be cleaned with an antiseptic soap or swab. If you have any allergies to antiseptic, please inform the technologists or doctor. Using a needle, the radiologist will numb the area. Then, using fluoroscopy, a needle will be placed into the joint to inject contrast dye. The radiologists will take a few X-rays of the area to insure proper contrast coverage. This portion of the exam typically takes 15-30 minutes, after which you will be escorted to the MRI scanner for the second part of your exam.

In the MRI suite, our staff will help you find a comfortable position on the MRI exam table. Before the examination begins, the table will slide forward to position the appropriate part of your body into the center of the magnet. For many examinations, you will enter the magnet feet first so that your head remains outside of the cylinder.

You will be able to communicate with the technologist at any time using an intercom, and we will provide earplugs or headphones for your comfort.  Throughout the examination, you will hear periodic “knocking” noises and may feel some slight vibration. The knocking and vibration of the MRI machine is expected and perfectly normal.

The typical MRI examination ranges from 25 – 30 minutes, although some examinations may take longer depending on the number of studies requested by your physician. The most important part of the examination is for you to lie very still. This is critical because the scanner is very sensitive, and any movement during the examination can blur the pictures and compromise the diagnostic quality of the examination. If you have trouble getting comfortable, our staff will do their best to accommodate.

What to expect following the procedure?

Following the examination, you may leave and go on with your day as you normally would. There are no after effects from MRI examinations. You may find that your injection site may be tender, as with any shot, but this is completely normal. The affected joint may be a bit stiff or seem slightly swollen due to the injection.  However, this will subside as fluid is absorbed into the body.

BARIUM ENEMA

What is a Barium Enema?

A barium enema is a diagnostic X-ray examination of the colon (the large intestine) to check for colon cancer, polyps, diverticula, or other abnormalities.

How do I prepare?

Please contact our office at least 48 hours prior to your examination to pick up your cleansing kit. You must only consume clear liquids for the 24 hours prior to your examination. Approved clear liquids include water, clear soup (any broth), strained fruit juices without pulp, any flavored gelatin/Jell-O (do not add extra ingredients), soft drinks, black coffee or plain tea.

What should I expect during my procedure?

Two experts will guide you through your barium enema study: a radiologic technologist, who will operate the equipment, and a radiologist, who will supervise and interpret radiology examinations.

Our medical staff will begin the exam by positioning you on our fluoroscopy table in the sims position. Then, a small, well-lubricated enema tip will be inserted into your rectum. The tube is connected to a bag that holds a barium sulfate-containing liquid—a contrast material that highlights specific areas in the body. The barium flows into your colon creating a clearer image. After the test is done the technologist will release the barium from your colon.

During the examination you may be asked to move into different positions to reveal all parts of your colon on the x-rays.  Before each image is taken, we will ask you to remain as still as possible, as any movement can blur the exposure. For some examinations, you will be required to hold your breath for very short periods to prevent any motion.

After the images are taken you will be allowed to use the restroom. One or two additional X-rays may be taken after you use the restroom.

The total exam time for a barium enema is approximately 30 minutes to one hour.

What to expect following the procedure?

After your examination, you will feel some discomfort from the enema tip which is normal. We advise you to drink extra fluids after the examination to help remove any extra barium because barium is not absorbed by the body. Your stool also may be whitish or light in color for a few days after the exam, which is completely normal.

HYSTEROLSALPINGOGRAM (HSG)

What is an HSG?

A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an X-ray test that looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the area around them. It is an important test to determine female fertility potential.  It often is done for women who are having a hard time getting pregnant or may be infertile.  It is also used to determine if tubal implants for permanent birth control are blocking the fallopian tubes.

 

How do I prepare?

We require no sexual activity from the end of the patient’s last menstrual cycle up until the examination, due to the fact that pregnant women or women who may be pregnant absolutely cannot undergo this procedure. We also advise that patients take Tylenol an hour before the appointment to help reduce discomfort after the examination.

If you have additional questions or concerns regarding your specific examination preparation, please contact our office at 831-775-5200 to speak with a medical professional.

What should I expect during my procedure?

Two experts will guide you through your hysterosalpinogram study: a radiologic technologist, who will operate the equipment, and a radiologist, who will perform the procedure and interpret radiology examinations.

You will be asked to lie on an x-ray table in the lithotomy position, which requires you to slide down to the end of the table with your knees flexed (the same position you are in during a pelvic examination).

The physician inserts a speculum into your vagina, followed by a small catheter. A contrast agent is injected through the catheter, gradually filling your uterus and fallopian tubes and thus, making these organs highly visible on x-ray. You may experience some pressure, along with cramping. It is important to let the physician know what you are feeling to help them keep you as comfortable as possible.

While the contrast agent is flowing, the physician takes radiographic images using fluoroscopy, allowing the physician to watch the contrast agent fill your uterus and fallopian tubes and observe any problems or defects. Then, the speculum and catheter are removed, and you may use the lavatory and wash. You also will be given a sanitary pad to absorb any superfluous contrast agent.

The total exam time for a hysterosalpingogram is approximately 45 minutes.

ESOPHAGRAM

What is an Esophagram?

An esophagram is a test that studies the function and appearance of the esophagus to assess the swallowing process. A patient drinks a barium sulfate compound to enable the exam.

How do I prepare?

Do not smoke, drink or eat anything, including gum and mints, four hours before the exam.

What should I expect during my procedure?

Two experts will guide you through your esophagram study: a radiologic technologist, who will operate the equipment, and a radiologist, who will perform the procedure and interpret radiology examinations.

During the examination, you will be required to drink two eight ounce glasses of liquid barium, a slightly sweet, chalky white liquid that has the consistency of a milkshake. Some patients also are asked to drink a bubbly, baking soda-like liquid similar to an antacid in order to create gas and further improve the images.

The exam begins with you in the upright position, standing on an elevated platform. The radiologist uses fluoroscopy equipment to record a digital video as you drink the first eight ounces of liquid barium. Your technologist will reposition you a few times during the standing portion of the examination.

Part two of the examination is performed with you lying on the examination table. As you drink the second eight ounces of liquid barium, more digital videos are recorded and examined by the radiologist. Again, your technologist will reposition you a few times during this portion of the examination.

Your examination is concluded with approximately five static digital X-ray images. Before each image is taken, we will ask you to remain as still as possible, as any movement can blur the exposure. For some examinations, you will be required to hold your breath for very short periods to prevent any motion.

The total exam time for an esophagram is typically 30 minutes. However, the exam can be longer depending on the patient.

What should I expect after the procedure?

After your examination, you will probably feel rather full. This is to be expected, as you just ingested several cups of a thick liquid.

As barium passes through the digestive system, constipation can result, especially in patients who are prone to constipation. Therefore, we advise that you drink extra fluids after the examination. Your stool also may be whitish or light in color for a few days after the examination, which is completely normal.

UPPER GI/SMALL BOWEL SERIES

What is an Upper GI/Small Bowel Series?

The upper gastrointestinal (UGI) tract extends from the esophagus to the end of the small bowel. Three separate X-ray examinations may be done, either alone or in combination, to produce images of this system. The 3 exams are:

  • Barium swallow, an examination of the canal in the throat that leads from the mouth to the opening of the stomach
  • Upper GI (UGI), an examination of the stomach
  • Small-bowel series, an examination of the small intestine
How do I prepare?

On the day before your procedure, do not eat or drink anything other than water after 8pm. On the morning of your appointment, do not smoke, brush your teeth, eat, or drink anything (including water, mints, candy and gum).

What to expect during the procedure? UPPER GI SERIES

Two experts will guide you through your upper GI series: a radiologic technologist, who assists the doctor, and a radiologist, who will perform the procedure and interpret radiology examinations.

During this examination, you will be required to drink two eight-ounce glasses of liquid barium, which comes in the form of a slightly sweet, chalky white liquid that has the consistency of a milkshake. Some patients also are asked to drink a bubbly, baking soda liquid similar to an antacid in order to create gas and further improve the images.

You will begin the exam in the upright position, standing on an elevated platform. The radiologist uses fluoroscopy equipment to record a digital video as you drink the bubbly, baking soda-like liquid, followed by the first eight ounces of liquid barium. Your technologist will reposition you a few times during the standing portion of the examination.

Part two of the exam is performed with you lying on the examination table. As you drink the second eight ounces of liquid barium, more digital video is recorded and examined by the radiologist. Your technologists will reposition you a few times and may ask you to drink water.

Your examination is concluded with approximately two to three static digital X-ray images. Before each image is taken, we will ask you to remain as still as possible, as any movement can blur the exposure. For some examinations, you will be required to hold your breath for very short periods to prevent any motion.

The total exam time for an upper GI series of this examination is approximately 45 minutes.

* Please read on if your referring physician also requested a small bowel follow-through.

SMALL BOWEL FOLLOW-THROUGH

Very often, a small bowel follow-through examination accompanies an upper GI series, although the exams can be conducted separately.

The small bowel follow-through series is very similar to the upper GI series, but the test usually takes around two hours. In some cases it may take as long as five hours, depending on your individual digestive system.

As in the upper GI examination, we will ask you to drink liquid barium, a slightly sweet, chalky white liquid that has the consistency of a milkshake. If your small bowel follow-through examination is performed in conjunction with an upper GI, you will be asked to drink one or two additional eight-ounce glasses of liquid barium. If your small bowel follow-through is a stand alone examination, you will be asked to drink three to four eight-ounce glasses of liquid barium.

Once the exam begins, several fluoroscopy X-rays will be taken every 15 minutes until the barium reaches the large bowel this process can take up to five hours. Between images, you can sit in the dressing room or walk the halls. Please feel free to bring reading materials or an IPod.

What should I expect after the procedure?

After your examination, you will probably feel rather full. This is to be expected, as you just ingested several cups of a thick liquid.

As barium passes through the digestive system, constipation can result, especially in patients who are prone to constipation. Therefore, we advise you to drink extra fluids after the examination. Your stool also may be whitish or light in color for a few days after the examination, which is completely normal.

Which locations offer Fluoroscopy?

Salinas Valley Imaging Center
559 Abbott St.
Salinas, Ca 93901
Phone: 831-775-5200
Fax: 831-796-3891
Hours: 7:30-6:00PM