To get clearer pictures for some imaging tests, we give patients a special dye called contrast. Contrast dye can make specific organs, tissues or blood vessels stand out in imaging exams, helping doctors see them more clearly.
Screening for Possible Pregnancy
Patients who are pregnant or who believe they could be pregnant should talk to their doctors before having a fluoroscopy exam. Information discussed with a doctor is confidential. In addition, parents or caregivers who are pregnant or believe they might be pregnant shouldn’t be in the room during a fluoroscopy exam.
Giving Contrast Dye
For a fluoroscopy exam, we sometimes give contrast dye by mouth. The amount will be determined by the size of the patient and the procedure being done. Contrast can be chalky and thick, or thin and bitter. We can sweeten the mixture to make it easier to drink.
Guideline for Oral Contrast Exams: Eating and Drinking
- Under Age 5: Do not eat or drink anything during the 4 hours leading up to the exam. That includes any solids or liquids by mouth and/or feeding tube, unless approved by the fluoroscopy staff.
- Age 5 and up: Do not eat or drink anything during the 8 hours leading up to the exam. That includes any solids or liquids by mouth and/or feeding tube, unless approved by the fluoroscopy staff.
If a patient can’t or won’t swallow the contrast, we might use a nasogastric (NG) tube. An NG tube goes through the nose, down the esophagus and into the stomach. Having NG tubes inserted can be uncomfortable for some patients. We’ll discuss whether an NG tube might be necessary before your appointment so that you’re prepared.
Related Tests and Follow-Up Care
Patients who have a type of contrast dye called barium will have white stool for a day or so after the test. These patients might also notice constipation (hard stool or difficulty passing stool). Mild laxatives or stool softeners can help with this. Contact the doctor if the constipation continues or is an ongoing problem.
For More Information
For more information about imaging tests at Gillette, please call the Advanced Imaging Center at 651-229-3995.
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.