General x-ray exams are performed at all of our imaging facilities on a walk-in basis.
If your physician orders a fluoroscopy exam you will need to schedule an appointment. Fluoroscopy uses x-rays to allow real-time evaluation of bony and soft tissue structures. Fluoroscopy exams are performed by a radiologist (a doctor who is specially trained to interpret x-ray images and perform fluoroscopy exams) assisted by a registered technologist or a student being supervised by the registered technologist. Most x-ray exams require multiple images to be taken in various positions to obtain the necessary information for the radiologist.
Some of the most common fluoroscopy exams include: Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Exam (Upper GI or UGI), Small Bowel Follow Through, Lower Gastrointestinal Tract Exam (Lower GI or Barium Enema), Video Swallow, Arthrogram, Lumbar Puncture, and Myelogram. For questions regarding exams not listed here please contact our scheduling department 815-334-5566. If you would like to fill out your screening form prior to your appointment you can print it here and bring them with you the day or you exam.
Prepare for Your General X-Ray
For general x-ray exams you may be asked to change into a gown or scrub pants to eliminate any possible artifacts from your clothing. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses or hearing aids. You will be permitted to bring these items into the exam room or secure them in a locker during your exam.
Prepare for Your Fluoroscopy Exam
For fluoroscopy exams ordered to evaluate the gastrointestinal system: You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for a minimum of 8 hours. You may be asked to drink barium or another contrast drink to aid the radiologist in visualization of the area of interest. If there is additional preparation required for your specific exam it will be specified by the scheduler when you make your appointment.
- Upper gastrointestinal tract radiography is a fluoroscopy exam performed to evaluate the esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine (also known as the duodenum). This exam utilizes orally ingested contrast material, usually barium. The radiologist and technologist will instruct you when to drink the contrast. During the exam the radiologist will utilize fluoroscopy to obtain real-time information and still images to fully evaluate the structures of interest.
- Small bowel follow through exams can be performed along with an UGI or as a separate study. This exam utilizes orally ingested contrast material, usually barium. If done in conjunction with an UGI the radiologist will evaluate the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine while having you drink the contrast during real-time fluoroscopy evaluation. You will then be instructed to drink additional contrast and the technologist will obtained timed general x-ray images of your abdomen to evaluate the passage of the contrast through your small bowel. The duration of this exam is dependent upon the contrast reaching the junction between your large and small intestine, this process generally takes one to two hours but may take longer. Once the contrast has reached the junction between the large and small intestine the radiologist will again utilize fluoroscopy to evaluate the area of interest real-time.
- Lower gastrointestinal fluoroscopy exams utilize rectally administered contrast, usually barium, to evaluate the large intestine. The contrast is administered by the radiologist as they perform real-time fluoroscopy evaluation. The technologist will also obtain general x-ray images for the radiologist to review along with the fluoroscopy images.
- Video Swallow Studies are performed to evaluate swallowing function and evaluate for aspiration. These studies are performed by a radiologist and speech pathologist and are assisted by a registered technologist. You will be asked to swallow a variety of consistencies of barium solutions while the radiologist and speech pathologist evaluate the structures of interest using real-time fluoroscopy evaluation.
For an arthrogram: You will be asked to change into a gown and scrub pants unless you are wearing clothing that does not contain any metal. The radiologist will use fluoroscopy to localize the area of interest and a small needle to inject contrast for the MRI portion of your exam. For more information about MRI exams please see the What to Expect for Your MRI.
For lumbar puncture or myelogram exams: You will be asked to change into a gown and scrub pants. The radiologist will use fluoroscopy for needle guidance. For lumbar puncture, once the needle has been inserted into the appropriate location the radiologist will collect spinal fluid for laboratory analysis. For a myelogram, once the needle has been inserted into the appropriate location the radiologist will inject contrast material to assist in evaluation of the spinal cord, nerve roots, and surrounding structures.