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Ask Dr. Muneeb Ali Your Own Question
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7023
Experience:  MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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I have had several x-ray and fluoroscopy episodes; two back

Customer Question

I have had several x-ray and fluoroscopy episodes; two back surgeries and lumbar tests and epidurals under fluoroscopy. I'm wondering if there is a limit to these exposures and if there are side effects from radiation?
JA: Have you seen a doctor about this yet? What medications are you taking?
Customer: No I haven't talked to my doctor about it. I take a beta blocker, synthroid, Liosinopril, Plavix, ASA, Tricor, and Vytorin, plus multi-vit.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: I have regular visits to my cardiologist and FP. They do know my history. I forgot to mention, I also have 3 stents for CAD.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 1 year ago.


Im sorry to hear about your situation. Can i ask do you have an estimated number of the exposures that you have had?

Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 1 year ago.

Since you are offline ill leave a response which we can discuss later on.

Well if taken individually the risk of each individual investigation in causing a serious injury or disease like cancer is very low. Fluroscopic examinations like the ones which you have had do expose you to more radiation then a normal xray however that too is very tiny when compared to the radiation which is required to cause cancer or any tissue damage. However tht being said it is important for you to undergo a thorough examination of the skin after every fluoroscopy because each exposure does increase the risk of you developing skin injuries and burns because the skin becomes sensitized every time.

Now while the simple xrays doesnt cause that much of a problem in the long term even if you get several xrays over the course of several years, the CT scans however are another story. they do expose you to much more radiation then xrays. It is estimated that 0.4% of all cancers in the US are caused by CT scans.

Now in your case, you would have had at the most 10 flouroscopic procedures and that could be accompanied by a maximum of 20 xrays or so and maybe 2-5 CT scans. if these are the number that we are dealing with then your risk of developing is cancer is neglible. Usually you would need a much higher number around the range of 10 - 20 CT scans in order for the risk for to be significant. That does NOT mean that you are safe to get these many CT scans or flouroscopic procedures. But generally speaking if your doctors limit the interventions to the ones which are absolutely necessary then your risk is very very small. But there is no particular limit of the exposures, the number CT scans i mentioned is an estimate.

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