Fluoroscopy is a type of x-ray that helps a hospital medical staff view movement inside the human body. Whereas the typical x-ray is an unmoving image, think of fluoroscopy as an x-ray movie. During a fluoroscopy on the fluoroscopy machine (also known as C-arm Fluoroscopy), the hospital’s medical tech will pass an x-ray beam through the patient’s body; the resulting image will appear on a monitor where doctors can view bodily functions or instruments (such as surgical cameras) and contrasting agents (such as dye in the digestive tract). Fluoroscopy typically produces images at a maximum rate of 25 to 30 images per second, which is equivalent to the image transmission of regular television and video-this frame rate is taken into account when hospital staff decide on how long the patient will be exposed during the procedure.
Which sections of the body will be exposed to fluoroscopy are also taken into consideration; for example, how long will areas of the skin near vital organs and organs more exposed to cancer-such as the breasts-be subjected to the procedure? The use of fluoroscopy goes back to November 1895 when German physicist Wilhelm Rontgen noticed the exposure of barium (a barium enema is given to patients before undergoing a fluoroscopic procedure of the digestive tract) in what he later referred to as x-rays. Cardboard funnels, which had been coated on the inside with a layer of fluorescent metal salt, were used in early styles of the fluoroscopy machine, though the resulting images produced were questionable at best.
Also see: C-arm Fluoroscopy