What is fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy uses multiple X-rays taken over time in the same way as a movie. This means that the amount of radiation used is higher than with normal X-rays. However, the amount of information we can get is increased. Fluoroscopy is sometimes known as screening. Sometimes contrast may be used to highlight different areas of the body.

Fluoroscopy can be used for the identification of a disease or its cause (diagnosis) or can be used in surgery (known as Interventional Radiology).

If you are having Interventional Radiology, then the doctor will discuss the procedure with you before. Including what will happen and any risks for you.


What do I need to know?

This video details the process involved in fluoroscopy.

Take away points:

  • You should tell the person doing your test if you are or think you could be pregnant.

Patient shielding

In the past, you may have been given a lead apron or small shields for a certain body part during an X-ray. Recent science shows that this is usually not required due to improved technology and scientific knowledge.

Therefore, you may notice that you are no longer offered shielding. If you would like more information on why this change has happened you can find it in the document: "Guidance on using contact shielding on patients for diagnostic radiology applications" (BIR).


  • Fluoroscopy will only be used if a healthcare professional can show that the benefit to you is greater than the risk (justified).

  • X-rays used in fluoroscopy do not hurt.

  • The equipment will be maintained to reduce the dose to keep the dose and risk to you as low as possible.

  • The individual carrying out the imaging will be trained to keep the dose and risk to you as low as possible.

  • If you have any more questions, please ask a healthcare professional.

If you'd like to find out more about the risks of fluoroscopy, there is more information within the 'Radiation Risk' section.