Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique commonly used by physicians to obtain real-time moving images of internal structures of the patient through the use of a fluoroscope. A fluoroscope consists of an X-ray source and fluorescent screen between which a patient is placed.
This technology is very helpful to surgeons when performing surgical procedures. Interventional fluoroscopy has tremendous advantages over invasive surgical procedures because it requires a very small incision which substantially reduces recovery time and reduces risk of infection for the patient.
Fluoroscopy can be used in any of the following situations:
- Blood flow studies
- Orthopedic surgery
- Angiography of the leg, heart and cerebral vessels
- Catheter insertion
- Urological surgery
- Implantation of pacemakers
Minor risks are associated with any fluoroscopy procedure. Since this procedure uses X-ray technology, each patient is exposed to some amount of radiation. The amount of radiation absorbed by the patient depends on the size of the patient and the length of the procedure. Some patients can experience radiation – induced injuries to the skin resulting in ‘burns’ of the tissues on the skin. When dealing with any amount of radiation exposure, there is a small possibility of developing radiation-induced cancer later in life. When a fluoroscopy is medically indicated, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
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