Radiopacity refers to the relative inability of electromagnetic radiation, specifically x-rays, to pass through a particular material. In more practical terms, it describes how visible a medical device will be during a procedure where x-rays are used. Radiopacity is a critical parameter when the tracking, placement, or retrieval of the device can have significant effects on patient outcomes. The importance of radiopacity is most obvious when using fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy is used for procedures in which it is necessary to see a device in motion within the body. It is commonly used in fields such as gastroenterology, cardiology, and orthopedic surgery, among many others.
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