Radiology/xray guided gj tube placement
I'm looking for opinions on an experience I had today in interventional radiology exchanging our 13 month olds GJ tube. He had it placed initially in January and replaced in early April with MIC KEY. These were both done with an endoscopic camera under general anesthesia. He has been having some issues and it was determined that the tube might be getting too small so we were to have it exchanged today in Interventional Radiology with no sedation. Supposed to be in and out in 5-10 minutes. We lay him on the table and turned on the X-Ray. The radiologist instantly recognized the J tube was coiled up in the stomach so he said change of plans as we now had to pull everything out and rewire. He had some problems getting through the pyloric sphincter so it took awhile. My son was screaming the whole time of course as this procedure is usually done under general. My question/concern is the amount of radiation he was exposed to and whether it is a harmful dose. I plan on calling radiologist Monday to inquire as well. He was on the table for 1 hour. I think that it probably took longer than radiologist planned on. They were using what I think was live x-ray for guidance. The x-ray wasn't on the entire time but it was on a good amount of time. Perhaps about half of the time it was on. Do you have an opinion on this amount of radiation and whether or not it is too much? I do know that if we ever have this happen again that I will tell them to stop the procedure immediately once the coiled j tube is discovered and request an endoscopic procedure under general. Sorry for the long winded post.
You bring up a valid concern. However, "too much" may not be the right approach. Is it better to have 5 min of xray than 30 min...yes, of course, we both understand that. The question is how much of exposure was there. Current machines are very good at reducing the dose,especially if it was done at a children's hospital. If is wasn't that's totally ok as well but what you need to get a record of is a total exposure during the procedure. This number should be found in a procedure report. I am sure it will be higher than expected because the procedure took longer. I am not sure why you child needs a tube but if there is chronic condition then I estimate that there may be lots of us radiology tests and procedures in a future. In this case, you need to keep a log of radiation dose and discuss these with your doctors every now and then and see what the risks vs. benefits are for each procedure. If this is a problem that is short lived then I would say that the risk from this procedure and radiation dose for the future health is negligible. You may want to check out xrayrisk.com site that has information with estimated/average exposure times and doses.
Hope this is helpful.