Medical Specialties



Fluoroscopies at Phoenix Children's

At Phoenix Children's, your child’s safety is our number ONE concern. We recognize that children are more sensitive to radiation and what we do now lasts a lifetime. That's why we support “Image Gently,” an initiative to minimize radiation doses that are required without compromising diagnostic quality.

What is a Fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy procedures are X-rays that allow radiologists to view internal organs such as the stomach and intestinal track in motion. The video images from the camera are then transmitted and viewed on a monitor. That way the doctor can watch the organ inside of the body as it works.

Fluoroscopies are used to detect potential problems with your child's:

  • GI tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine)
  • Urinary system (bladder, ureters, kidneys, urethra)
  • Rectum

Fluoroscopies can also be used for guidance during procedures such as tube placements or interventional radiology exams.

Many types of exams are performed with the use of fluoroscopy such as: an upper GI, barium enema, barium swallow and VCUGs to name a few. Fluoroscopy scans usually take 30 - 40 minutes to complete.

Note: Pregnant women will not be able to stay in the room during the scan.

What is a Barium Enema?

This is a test which uses X-rays and a special kind of enema solution and/or air to take pictures of the colon or large bowel, which is the lower part of the intestines. The test shows the doctor if there are abnormalities of the colon or distal small intestine.

During the test, your child will lie still on the X-ray table. The enema involves the insertion of a small tube in your child's rectum. This tube, smaller than a normal bowel movement, may be uncomfortable but should not cause pain. The enema tube will remain in place during the exam in which the liquid will outline your child's colon. During the test, the X-ray technologist or a radiologist will be taking and looking with a special X-ray camera during this test. During the test, several X-ray pictures will be taken and it lasts about 15 minutes.

What is an Upper GI?

An upper gastrointestinal (GI) test uses X-rays to take pictures of the stomach and surrounding area to help the doctor see how well these organs are working. Nothing will hurt your child during the exam, but he or she will need to lie still on the X-ray table.

During the exam, your child will drink a special liquid called barium, milky white liquid that is usually fruit or chocolate flavored. While your child is drinking the liquid, a radiologist or X-ray technologist will take X-rays of the belly. From there, the X-ray technologist will keep you informed of the results.

Most children are less apprehensive and more cooperative when a loved one is with them so parents are encouraged to stay in the X-ray room during the exam. If you are pregnant, you will have to wait outside the room. It is also a good idea for siblings to stay with another caregiver.

What is a Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)?

A voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) is a test which uses X-rays to take pictures of the urinary system. It shows how well the bladder and its connecting tubes (the urethra and the ureters) are working.

Having a VCUG at Phoenix Children's Hospital (PDF)

What to Expect - Before You Arrive

When you arrive to the Imaging Department, sign your child's name in at the registration desk located on the first floor of the Main Building, across from the Gift Shop. When your child's name is called, our staff will complete the proper paperwork with you.

Review our helpful tips on what to expect before you arrive.

Note: Be sure to bring any related documentation such as physician notes and prior images to your child’s appointment.

Contact us

For more information or to make a referral, please call 602-933-1213.

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