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Interventional Fluoroscopy: Reducing Radiation Risks for Patients and Staff

  • Posted: 04/18/2005

Physician-patient communication before and after interventional fluoroscopy

Operators should always ask the patient about any previous history of interventional fluoroscopy before undertaking another procedure. It is important to communicate the details of the procedure, patient dose, and immediate and potential long-term health effects to patients and their primary care providers.

Before procedure

Patients should be counseled on radiation-related risks, as appropriate, along with the other risks and benefits associated with the procedure. If patients are likely to have multiple interventional fluoroscopy procedures in a short period of time, they should be informed if there is a possibility that significant radiation exposures may accompany these procedures and may cause potential short-term and long-term radiation-related health effects.

After procedure

After a procedure, the measured or estimated radiation dose should be reviewed (Miller 2004), and appropriate steps should be taken to insure adequate patient follow-up:

  • Schedule a follow-up visit 30 days after the procedure for all patients who received a radiation skin dose of 2 Gy or more or a cumulative dose of 3 Gy or more.
  • Send the interventional fluoroscopy procedure description, operative notes, doses and information about possible short-term and long-term effects to the patient's primary care provider.
  • The patient and primary care physician should be specifically requested to notify the operator if observable skin effects occur.