This page contains information for patients, parents, and carers before attending the radiology department for fluoroscopic procedures at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to help you to understand what to expect.

What is Fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy is a medical imaging technique that allows the capture of real time moving images of inside the body using x-rays. This technique can be used to help visualise and diagnose possible disease and is sometimes used in conjunction with other imaging modalities.

The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has a team of radiologists and specialist radiographers who are skilled in performing these examinations using specialist fluoroscopy equipment and reading and reporting the images.

Fluoroscopy is a general term used to examine different areas of the body.

A list of information for each examination is included below. Additional specific details will be available depending on the examination you have.

Why do you need this procedure?

Individuals are referred for fluoroscopy examinations by a hospital consultant or specialist nurse, or occasionally from a GP.

It will be considered in the best interest of the individual to have the examination performed, as it will help with diagnosis of clinical conditions and symptoms which may be of concern.

Any possible risks associated with the examination will have been carefully considered prior to referral, but if you are not sure why you need the procedure please speak to the referring team at the hospital or contact the radiology department involved.

How to prepare for your examination

Please read all the information you may have been sent/within the required scan PDF about your appointment or follow the links to further information below, which may include any preparation you must do before attending for your examination.

You may be required to change into a suitable gown before the examination to ensure that nothing is covering the area we are examining. This will also protect your own clothing from any accidental spillage of the x-ray contrast that is used.

It may be useful to attend wearing clothing that have no metal, zips, clips, or embellishments when you have your examination.


Where possible please remove all jewellery, particularly necklaces, earrings, or nose studs prior to attending your appointment. Once in the examination room you may be asked to remove glasses or dentures depending on the area being examined..

You can wear

You can’t wear


A bra with wires/hooks



Tracksuit bottoms

A belt






Jewellery, watch and body piercing

Giving your consent

We want to involve you in all decisions about your care and treatment.

The radiographer will check your identification details with you; they will also confirm which part of your body or examination you are expecting to have, and if you are willing for the examination to go ahead. This is called verbal consent and confirms that you have agreed to the procedure and understand what it involves.

For some examinations it may be necessary for you to sign a procedure consent form to state that you understand what the examination involves and that you are willing to go ahead.

If you are unsure at any stage of the examination the radiographer involved will answer any questions regarding the procedure.

The doctor or team that referred you should also be able to answer any further questions regarding any aspect of the referral.

What will happen when you arrive for your examination?

Fluoroscopy is an area of imaging within the main radiology department which is located on the ground floor of the main building (G11). On arrival at the radiology department please check in at the reception desk, your details will be confirmed and you will be directed to the correct department.

A member of the fluoroscopy team will be aware that you have checked in and will be with you as soon as possible.

You may be asked to change from your own clothing into a hospital gown.

You will be taken into the fluoroscopy room where you will be introduced to the staff present and your details will be checked. The examination will be explained to you, and you may ask any questions you have.

The radiographer operating the equipment will be present throughout the examination.

Fluoroscopy examinations

A range of the different examinations carried out using fluoroscopy are listed below. For a more detailed look at the individual examinations please click on the patient information leaflets.


An arthrogram is an investigation of a joint within the body. It can be used to diagnose conditions affecting the shoulder, hip, knee, wrist or elbow.

This is a two-part procedure which combines using x-ray imaging (fluoroscopy) and an x-ray contrast, and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), which uses a strong magnetic field.

Small bowel barium meal and follow through.

This is an examination to look at the small bowel (intestine). It is normally performed by one of the specialist gastrointestinal radiographers.

It uses x-rays (fluoroscopy) and involves drinking an x-ray contrast (dye), normally barium liquid.

Adult barium swallow / meal

This test is designed to assess the upper gastrointestinal tract, specifically the function of your swallowing, oesophagus (food pipe) and stomach. It is usually performed by a specialist gastrointestinal radiographer.

It involves the use of x-rays (fluoroscopy) and drinking a liquid contrast, normally barium.

Occasionally we may use a different type of contrast which is a clear liquid. This contains Iodine and details on its use and risks are in the general information section. If you think you may be allergic to Iodine, please let the radiographers know at the beginning of the examination.

Paediatric barium swallow (child)

This test is designed to assess your child’s upper gastrointestinal tract, specifically the function of their swallowing, oesophagus (food pipe) and stomach. It is usually performed by a specialist gastrointestinal radiographer.

It involves the use of x-rays (fluoroscopy) and drinking a liquid contrast, normally barium.

Cystogram (adult patient)

This is an examination of the bladder using x-rays (fluoroscopy) and contrast (x-ray dye) to show the structure and shape of the bladder and occasionally the micturating (emptying) of the bladder. It is performed by a radiologist who will be present with you during the procedure.

Adult urethrogram

A urethrogram is an examination of the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of your body. It is done using x-rays (fluoroscopy) and contrast (x-ray dye).

Fistulogram and sinogram

A fistulogram examination uses x-rays (fluoroscopy) and contrast (x-ray dye) to produce images of an abnormal passage within the body (fistula). Similarly, a sinogram assesses an abnormal passage or cavity that originates or ends in one opening, often the skin (sinus).

Fluoroscopy of diaphragm

This examination is performed by a radiologist to assess if your diaphragm is moving as expected, it checks how the diaphragm (the muscle that controls breathing) moves when you breathe, normally when you inhale quickly. It is sometimes called the ‘sniff test’.

Paediatric micturating cystourethrogram (child)

This is an examination that uses x-rays (fluoroscopy) and an x-ray contrast (dye) which is used to identify any abnormalities in your child’s urinary system, bladder, and urethra (the opening through which your child urinates). It will show the appearance of the bladder and how it fills and empties.

T-tube cholangiogram

The t-tube cholangiogram is a fluoroscopic examination performed on individuals who have had an operation to remove the gallbladder and have an external drain in situ.

Sometimes a tube is left in place within the bile ducts following the operation. The tube is brought out onto the surface of the abdomen during the operation and is attached to a collecting bag.

The examination uses x-rays (fluoroscopy) and contrast (x-ray dye).

Transit / bowel motility marker examination (adult)

This is a special test to show the time it takes for food to pass through the digestive system.

Paediatric bowel motility (pellet) examination (child)

A colonic transit study is a test that shows how quickly food passes through the digestive system. This may be called a pellet study. It starts when you give your child some pellets to swallow over consecutive days.

The pellets show up on x-rays and you will be sent an appointment to attend the radiology department with your child for an x-ray of their abdomen.

Small bowel patency capsule

The patency capsule is a safe way to check that there is no blockage (obstruction) in your small bowel. It breaks down into smaller pieces and does not have any harmful ingredients in it. This tells us if it is safe to give you a video capsule, which can help to diagnose problems in your small bowel.

The video camera is the same size as the patency capsule but has a camera in it. It is used to take images of your food pipe (oesophagus), stomach, small and large intestines. This procedure is called Video Capsule Endoscopy (VCE).

Full information about VCE will be given to you from the referring doctor or team. If a video capsule becomes stuck in your small bowel, you would need endoscopy or surgery to remove it.


A sialogram is an x-ray examination using a contrast (a liquid which shows on x-ray) to look in detail at the larger salivary glands (parotid and submandibular). These glands help to keep the mouth moist by draining saliva into your mouth through small tubes called ducts. The duct openings are located in your cheeks or under your tongue. The salivary glands and ducts cannot be seen on ordinary x-ray, so contrast is used to demonstrate them.

Video fluoroscopy swallow

This is a specialised test to assess the way your swallowing works, it is one of several tests which can be used to investigate your swallowing and can give a clearer picture of what is happening in your mouth and throat as you swallow.

It is normally performed and reported by a speech and language therapist and a specialist radiographer and involves the use of x-rays (fluoroscopy) and contrast (x-ray dye). It will involve you swallowing different types of food and drink which are mixed to different consistencies.

Water soluble contrast enema

This is an x-ray examination to look at the rectum and large bowel using an Iodine based contrast (x-ray dye) and fluoroscopy (real-time x-ray images).

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