General Radiology (X- Rays) and Fluoroscopy

An X-ray, or general radiology, is a painless, non-invasive procedure that creates images of a patient’s internal organs or bones to aid in diagnosis and treatment. It’s the oldest and most commonly used type of medical imaging.

At Turlock Imaging Services, we perform digital X-ray imaging, which is the gold standard of today’s medical imaging practices.

During an exam, an X-ray machine directs a small amount of radiation at the part of the body being examined. The radiation passes through the body and creates an image on photographic film or a computer display.

Do I need an appointment for an X-ray?

Routine X-rays do not require an appointment, and walk-ins are welcome with a signed and dated physician’s order.

However, certain X-ray exams and fluoroscopy exams do require an appointment and special preparation. Please call 209-669-0600 to make an appointment for any specialty X-ray exams.

What are some common uses of X-ray?

X-ray exams help doctors identify and treat a broad range of conditions, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Arthritis
  • Joint injuries
  • Pneumonia

What are the benefits of digital X-ray?

Digital X-ray provides several important benefits to both patients and physicians:

  • Faster than analog X-ray
  • Reduces repeat exposures
  • Maximizes image quality
  • Can highlight or magnify areas of interest
  • Can electronically view images and reports, expediting patient care

How should I prepare for an X-ray exam?

Routine X-ray exams do not require special preparation. However, certain X-ray exams, including fluoroscopy exams, do require special preparation. Please contact us to make an appointment for any specialty X-ray exams.

If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, please inform your technologist. We may recommend another type of exam.

What should I expect during an X-ray exam?

X-ray exams depend on the area of the body being examined. We will fully explain each step of the process prior to the exam, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Throughout the process, we will make every effort to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.

What will I experience during an X-ray exam?

X-ray exams are completely painless and very safe. If your exam requires you to lie on an X-ray table, you may experience slight discomfort due to the hard surface.

Depending on the type of X-ray exam, your technologist may be able to place a pad on the table for your comfort.


What is fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy uses a continuous low-dose X-ray beam to produce images of organs and bones in real time, on a television monitor or screen, like an X-ray movie. During this procedure, radiologists usually use contrast material (dye) to highlight the area being examined. The contrast material can be injected or taken orally or rectally.

When is fluoroscopy used?

Fluoroscopy is used for investigations of the gastrointestinal tract and the colon. We also use this procedure to make sure that Venous accessed Ports are still positioned and working properly.  It is also used during urinary studies and to inject a contrast media into the joints.

What happens during a fluoroscopy procedure?

Depending on what part of your body is being examined, you may need to remove some of your clothing and put on a gown. You will remove any metal (including necklaces and body piercings) or plastic from the part of your body being examined. The technologist will position you sitting, standing, or lying on the exam table and then conduct the procedure.

Fluoroscopy-Patient Preparation and Instructions

Barium Enema
Bowel cleansing preparation is required.  Please pic up a LO SO prep kit from your pharmacy 2 days prior to your appointment.

Barium Swallow / Esophagram
Nothing to eat or drink 6 hour prior to exam.

Small Bowel Series
Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

Upper GI Series
Nothing to eat, drink, or smoke after midnight.  This includes all medications. If you are taking medications, please bring them with you to take after the exam is completed.