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X-Ray & Fluoroscopy

At Lompoc Valley Medical Center, we offer a wide range of X-Rays and Fluoroscopy services which both use X-ray technology but have significant differences patients should know about before having one of these tests.

X-ray and fluoroscopy are imaging procedures that can help your doctors diagnose, treat, and monitor a wide range of health conditions. These procedures are very similar to one another. Still, they have significant differences you should know about if your doctors recommend one.

For more information call 805-737-3375

What Are the Benefits?

Benefits of X-Ray

  • Painless, quick, and non-invasive.
  • No sedation or anesthesia required
  • Can help your doctors diagnose and monitor health conditions, as well as treatments.
  • Can also help your doctors guide medical devices like catheters and stents inside your body without damaging other organs and tissues.

Benefits of Fluoroscopy

  • Non-invasive, like X-Rays.
  • Can help doctors get a better look at your organs, tissues, bones, and blood vessels.
  • Can help figure out whether you need surgery.
  • Can also help doctors guide joint replacements, catheters, stents, and other devices inside the body.
  • Can help locate blood clots, tumors, and other internal blockages.

What are They Used For?

X-Ray are Used For

X-ray tests commonly examine your bones and joints. Fractures, dental problems, spine injuries, and lung problems are among the top reasons your doctor may order an X-ray test. An X-ray can also help detect digestive issues, cancers, heart problems, and blocked blood vessels.

X-rays are widely used in many medical specialties. However, dentists and orthopedic doctors may use them the most.

Common types of X-rays include bone X-rays, chest X-rays, and dental X-rays. Skull X-ray, sinus X-ray, and neck X-ray are common X-ray tests.

Fluoroscopy is Used For

Fluoroscopy has many different uses. Your doctor may order this test to diagnose reproductive issues, blood flow problems, and spine fractures. They may also use it to guide injections or medical devices into certain parts of your body.

What Are the Risks?

X-Ray Risks

The FDA warns:

  • X-rays may damage your DNA
  • People exposed to X-rays have a slight increase in the possibility of developing cancer later in life
  • High levels of radiation exposure may cause hair loss, cataracts, and reddening of the skin, though these effects are rare.

The risk of getting cancer from an X-ray is generally small. Cancer risk depends on the radiation dose, the part of the body tested, and the patient’s age and gender. For example, the cancer risk is higher for patients who receive a lot of X-rays at a young age.

Fluoroscopy Risks

Tell your doctor if you have any allergies, especially shellfish or iodine. Some contrast dyes may contain these ingredients. You should also tell your doctors if you have ever had a reaction to contrast dye in the past. If you have reacted to contrast dye, your doctors may use a safer contrast solution. They may also recommend an imaging test like a standard X-ray that does not use contrast dye.

Fluoroscopy may come with a slightly higher radiation risk than a standard X-ray. That is because the X-ray machine must stay over your body for a more extended period to create the live video feed. Standard X-rays are usually much quicker than fluoroscopy. That is because they take a series of photos instead of filming the movements of your insides.

If you are concerned about having an X-ray or Fluoroscopy, talk to your doctor. Your doctors can discuss your options for other imaging tests and about the benefits that outweigh the risks.

Preparing for Your Exam or Procedure

Registration: On the day of your appointment, please arrive 30 minutes before your appointment time to register. You can print and fill out the necessary forms, which should speed up the process.

Before arriving to your appointment, please:

  • Leave all jewelry and valuables at home. We do have lockers but are limited in space.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Please avoid clothing with snaps, zippers, or other metal.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant, please call 805-737-3375.
  • Please let us know if you need a translator.