Pediatric X-Ray & Fluoroscopy

X-Ray, or Radiography, is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-rays are used for imaging all types of boney structures. It is also very helpful in evaluating the chest, abdomen, and other soft tissues.

X-rays are used to produce images, which are viewed on a monitor in "real time." Fluoroscopy is used for exams such as Upper GI, Lower GI (enema) and VCUG.

Upper GI

An upper gastrointestinal (GI) test uses X-rays to take pictures of the esophagus, stomach and small bowel.

Before the test

Follow the eating and drinking instructions below:

  • If your child is taking medicine, you may give them their medicine at its scheduled times.
  • Under 3 years - Nothing to eat or drink for 4 hours before the test.
  • 3 years and older - If the test is scheduled for morning, nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
  • If you are scheduled after noon, your child should have nothing to eat or drink for 4 hours prior.

During the test

Your child will drink special liquid called barium. Barium is a chalky white liquid that is sometimes slightly flavored. While your child is drinking the barium, the doctor (Radiologist) will take pictures of your child's belly. The technologist will help your child on when to move and when to drink. As the barium passes through the stomach, the doctor will take more pictures. Parents are encouraged to stay in the room. It may be a good idea for siblings to stay with another caregiver.

After the test

Once all of the pictures are taken, you will be free to leave. Your child may return to normal daily activities. The results of the test will be sent to the physician who ordered the exam. You will want to encourage your child to drink plenty of liquids to help the barium pass through. Your child's stool may appear white for a couple of days due to the barium. That is okay.

Contrast enema/Lower GI

A contrast enema is a test that uses both X-rays and a specific form of contrast (barium, air or gastrografin) to take very detailed pictures of the colon.

Before the test

Before you arrive for the test, make sure to explain the procedure to your child.

During the test

When you arrive for the test, the technologist will again explain the procedure to both you and your child. Your child will change into an appropriate gown for the procedure. We encourage you to stay with your child during the procedure. It is possible that your child will feel discomfort during the exam.

During the exam, your child will lay on an x-ray table. The technologist will insert a small enema tip into your child's rectum. The enema tip may be a bit uncomfortable for your child, but should not cause pain.

Once the tube is in place, the technologist and Radiologist will begin to introduce the contrast. The Radiologist will watch the contrast move through the colon with a really big camera. The technologist will help soothe and guide your child through the exam. Once the contrast is through the colon, the technologist will then take more x-rays for the Radiologist to view.

After the test

Once all of the pictures are taken, you will be free to leave. Your child may return to normal daily activities. The results of the test will be sent to the physician who ordered the exam. You will want to encourage your child to drink plenty of liquids to help the barium pass through. Your child's stool may appear white for a couple of days due to the barium. That is okay.

If your child is in a great deal of pain after the exam is over or new symptoms develop please contact your child's physician.

Voiding Cystourethragram (VCUG)

A voiding cystourethragram uses contrast and a special form of X-ray, called fluoroscopy, to examine how the bladder and lower urinary tract are working.

Voiding cystourethragrams are usually done on an outpatient basis. After you have registered for your procedure, you and your child will go to the Pediatric floor. This is where your child will have the catheter placed. Your child may be asked to change into a hospital gown. A nurse will clean the genital area and insert a catheter through the urethra and into the bladder.

After the catheter is inserted, your child will be taken to the Radiology department for the remainder of the procedure. After you are settled into the procedure room, the radiologist will start the flow of contrast into the bladder while watching on a monitor using fluoroscopy. Once the bladder is full, the child will be asked to urinate while the doctor watches the bladder empty. A final picture may be taken once the child has voided completely. The entire exam usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour.

Before the Test

Explain the procedure to your child before coming to the hospital so they know what to expect. Parents are invited to stay with their child during the exam. If your child has a comfort item, please bring it to the exam. Our goal is for your child to feel as comfortable as possible.

After the Test

When the exam is complete, the technologist will give you discharge instructions. We encourage the patient to drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids for 24 hours. After having a catheter there may be a small amount of blood in the urine. This is normal for about 24 hours following the exam. The results of the exam will be sent to your doctor's office within 24 hours.

Portal

Your secure, online medical connection.

Log In

In QuickerIn Quicker

Wait at home. Check in to Urgent Care now.

Check In

  • Buy a Gift

    Send flowers or a gift and brighten a patient's day today.  

  • Pay My Bill

    Pay a hospital and provider bill online.

  • Send an e card

    Share an eCard with a patient at St. Mary's.

  • Make a Donation

    Interested in giving? Make a donation or learn more about ways to give.