These are specialist examinations that use ultrasound and / or fluoroscopy to produce live images of your body. We can watch what is happening and also guide our radiologist during a procedure.
Preparing for your scan
What you should do
We may ask you to attend a pre-assessment appointment with our sister or a radiographer. This provides an opportunity to discuss the procedure you are having.
Special instructions are sometimes sent to you by post with your appointment letter.
These may include important questions about:
- known allergies
- any medication you are using
- if you are, or think you could be, pregnant
On the day of your procedure, we ask you to go to the radiology department. Occasionally, we may ask you to attend the Day Surgery Unit, a ward or clinic beforehand.
You don't need to bring anything with you. We'll send you any special instructions with your appointment letter.
You should be prepared to:
- change into a hospital gown (You may avoid this if you don't wear any metal around the area being x-rayed)
- remove jewellery from the area being x-rayed
What to expect
The procedure usually occurs on the x-ray table, which can move you from a standing to a lying down position. Sometimes it's undertaken on a trolley or in your wheelchair.
The examinations vary in length, some may take a five to 10 minutes while others can last over an hour. We explain this in your letter or pre-assessment visit.
The radiologist places a small tube into one of you blood vessels. We do this to gain access for inserting x-ray dye, which shows up on the fluoroscopy machine.
The procedures we provide are:
- Angiogram (including fistulogram)
- IVC Filter
Barium is a thick white liquid similar in consistency to double cream. It's used to coat the inside of the oesophagus, stomach or bowel so they show up on x-rays. Sometimes a water soluble alternative to barium is used, for example, after recent surgery.
We sometimes record barium swallow procedures, a procedure called video-fluoroscopy.
Colonic transit marker study
We ask you to swallow a small pill that will show up on an x-ray. You return a week later for an abdominal x-ray to see how far the pill has travelled through your digestive system.
Water soluble enema
The radiologist passes a small soft tube into your back passage. It delivers x-ray dye through it so that we can see your bowel using x-rays.
We insert an artificial tube known as a ‘stent’ into a hollow structure within the body. This process widens or reopens it if it's blocked.
We put mesh-like metal stents into blood vessels, bile ducts or the oesophagus for example. Plastic stents are introduced into the ureters (muscular pipe between kidney and bladder).
Line / tube insertion and drains
A small tube is inserted into your body. We usually do this so drugs can be administered easily or fluid / material can be drained away.
The procedures available are:
- Peritoneal dialysis catheter insertion (Tenkchoff line)
- Peripherally inserted central catheter
- Radiologically Inserted Gastrostomy (RIG) tube insertion
- T-Tube cholangiogram
A small needle is guided into your body using ultrasound or x-rays so that a sample of your bodily tissue can be removed for analysis.
Studies include: -
- Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA), for example, thyroid, lymph node
- core biopsy, (lump)
These procedures investigate and treat conditions affecting the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons.
- joint injections
- lumbar puncture / epidural
- arthrograms, pre CT/MRI (e.g. shoulder, wrist)
- ultrasound guided barbotage (e.g. shoulder)
- shoulder hydro dilation
Other parts of your body can be viewed using x-ray dye and fluoroscopy to assess the structure of a system or for blockages.
The studies available are:
- Dacryocystogram (tear ducts)
- Sialogram (salivary ducts)
- Hysterosalpingogram (fallopian tubes)
- Cystogram (bladder)
Side effects and radiation safety
You can find out more about x-ray side effects and risks and radiation safety.