New flouroscopy equipment means a more comfortable experience and less radiation

Undergoing a fluoroscopic exam can be a stressful event, especially for children.

But, fluoroscopy, an imaging technique that uses X-rays to capture moving images of the body, “can mean the difference between having surgery and staying out of surgery,” said Jennifer Segura, manager of TMC Imaging Services & Diagnostic Radiology.

“It can help us diagnose a problem faster, and sometimes resolve certain issues to stop patients from going into the operating room,” Segura said.

A more comfortable experience

Having equipment that is specifically designed for children in a family-friendly setting is one way to ensure a pleasant experience.

That’s why monies raised by the TMC Mega Raffle will pay for a new fluoroscopy machine and pediatric- themed suite in 2020.

Once the $800,000 project is complete, Tucson Medical Center will have the most up-to-date fluoroscopy equipment on the market.

Less radiation

Families will have extra assurance knowing their child is receiving the least amount of radiation possible during the procedure, since the new equipment will allow Imaging staff to minimize the dosage of radiation based on the size of the patient.

“In imaging there is a well-known international push to reasonably reduce imaging-related radiation dose exposure,” said Miriam Emerson, M.D., a pediatric radiologist at TMC. “This campaign is based on the concept that children are more sensitive to the effects of ionizing radiation. And, those who are involved in imaging children, whether they are technologists or radiologists, should implement best practice to minimize dose whenever appropriate and possible.”

Life-changing exams

Emerson is the primary radiologist who performs fluoroscopy examinations at TMC, both in the outpatient setting as well as for children coming through the Emergency Department.

“These exams can be truly life-changing,” Emerson said. “I cannot express in words the satisfaction felt after diagnosing a midgut volvulus (a life-threatening emergency where the intestines are twisted) in a newborn whose parents are right there next to me holding back tears. This is just one of countless examples where I rely on fluoroscopy to diagnose and treat patients.”

The newer equipment will allow Emerson and her colleagues to get the best images with the lowest achievable radiation level so patients can get the care they need as soon as possible.

A world of difference

Additionally, the upgrade will help children and parents feel more at ease when having a fluoroscopic procedure.

“Having an updated comforting environment with cutting leading-edge technology to perform these exams will make a world of difference to these scared kids and their parents,” Emerson said.

Helping our community

Your participation in the TMC Mega Raffle is making a difference to children and families in Tucson and to the Southern Arizona community as a whole.

“We are so thankful we are able to fund the fluoroscopy project in 2020,” said Steve Siwik, TMC Foundation board chair. “This is the perfect example of what TMC Mega Raffle contributions do for the community.”