X-Ray and Fluoroscopy

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center offers the full range of X-ray studies, including fluoroscopy, which is a specialized X-ray procedure that uses a contrasting agent to more clearly image the body's interior.

Most X-rays and fluoroscopy studies require no preparation. The exceptions include: Barium Enema, Upper GI and Upper GI Small Bowel, Esophagram, and Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP, kidney X-ray). For preparation information on specific fluoroscopy studies, including preparations, please click on the links below:

  • Abdomen x-ray
  • Barium Swallow: please see Esophagram
  • Bone density scan (QDR)
  • Chestlower extremityspine, and upper extremity x-rays
  • Barium enema is an examination of the colon to assess a change in bowel habits, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diverticulitis or suspected masses.
  • Barium enema with air contrast may be used to examine the colon to assess symptoms, including: a recent change in bowel habits, abdominal pain or rectal bleeding. Compared to a barium enema, the air contrast examination offers increased sensitivity for the detection of polyps and small masses.
  • Esophagram or barium swallow to assess frequent heartburn (pain), gastric reflux (food/acid comes back up), aspiration (food and/or fluid in your wind pipe), difficulty eating, drinking, or swallowing.
  • Evacuation proctogram (defecography) is used to help diagnose a wide range of pelvic floor problems, including: anal or pelvic pain, difficult defecation, sensation of incomplete emptying, constant sensation of a full rectum, constipation, feeling of “something” coming out of the anus or vagina as a patient strains, or stool leakage. This study is performed by a team of subspecialists led by John Bray, MD.
  • Fistulagram - abdominal: A fistula is a surgical connection between an artery and a vein. It is created to provide enough blood flow at the appropriate pressure to make hemodialysis effective and possible.
  • Hysterosalpingogram is used to study the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) involves the intravenous injection of an iodinated contrast to examine the kidneys, ureters and bladder.
  • Upper GI (UGI) tract study uses a special form of X-ray (fluoroscopy) and an orally ingested contrast material, usually barium sulfate to examine the pharynx, esophagus, stomach and duodenum. An upper GI examination helps in the detection of abnormalities of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, including ulcers, scarring, tumors, blockages, hiatal hernia, reflux or inflammation. The procedure is also used to help diagnose symptoms including difficult or painful swallowing, severe indigestion, chest and abdominal pain, blood in stool or unexplained vomiting.
  • Upper GI with small bowel examination adds the evaluation of the small bowel to the traditional upper GI examination and usually takes 2 to 4 hours.
  • Video swallow study (VSS) is done in conjunction with our experts from speech therapy to evaluate the different phases of the swallowing process. Some of the more common indications are unexplained cough, difficult or painful swallowing or suspected aspiration.
  • Retrograde voiding cystourethrogram requires placement of a bladder catheter and is used frequently in children to evaluate the cause of urinary tract infections, including vesicoureteral reflux, bladder or urethral abnormalities.
  • Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) uses x-rays to produce images of the bladder and urethra. This study may be used to evaluate recurrent infection, frequent or painful urination, urinary incontinence or difficult urination.

For general information about preparing for an x-ray or fluoroscopy exam, please click here. Our Gastrointestinal Program has extensive experience with the full range of x-ray procedures related to gastrointestinal disorders and conditions.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.