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Radiology/Radiation from a Fluoroscopically Guided Lumbar Epidural Procedure

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Question
I have dealt with a kidney tumor (had a partial nephrectomy - it was a benign oncocytoma)and a lung nodule over the past 6 months. As a result I've had 3 CT's and a few chest xrays. I do not want to expose myself to any more radiation if I can help it. So here's my question:

I have spinal stenosis. My doctor wants to perform a lumbar epidural that would be guided by a fluoroscope. When I asked about the amount of radiation I would get, I was told that it would be very minimal (less than a chest xray) because the fluoroscope would only be used to guide the needle into place and would only be turned on for about 10 - 15 seconds. Does that sound correct in terms of both the time of exposure and the amount of radiation?

Thanks

Answer
Hello,
Sorry to hear that you've gone through so much recently.  Lumbar epidurals under fluoroscopy are usually very quick procedures.  So it's just a matter of prepping the skin and finding the spot with a quick X-ray(fluoro) to confirm placement.  The exposure is low and it is only concentrated to the small area of interest.  It's the safest, most accurate way to perform the procedure.  Good luck to you.  

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Lauren

Expertise

I can answer questions about most radiologic examinations and procedures (like X-rays, CTA scans, angiograms etc) . I can help guide you through what to expect during your procedure, safety concerns and postoperative care questions. I can not diagnose you online. Please do not include images as I can not give my opinion on them.

Experience

I have been a Physician Assistant (PA) since 2006 practicing in a hospital. We perform exams such as angiograms, angioplasty, atherectomy, biopsies, tumor ablations, UFE and catheter insertions.

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Bachelors Degree in Radiologic Science, licensed Radiologic Technologist, NCCPA Certified Physician Assistant

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