Transillumination: What is It and How Does it Help Medical Professionals?

Transillumination is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses a light source to examine the body and reveal potential abnormalities through the shadow it casts. This method of medical examination provides health professionals a view of structures beyond the surface of the skin to identify complications in a non-invasive and non-destructive way.

Preparation Before Transillumination

To prepare for the transillumination medical procedure, patients must remove any clothing or items that will limit the reach of the light source or obstruct the view of the health professional. The patient will also be asked to stand or sit in a certain position to ensure the areas of examination are accessible and remain still throughout the procedure.

Procedure For Transillumination

During transillumination, a light source is held over the area of examination while a healthcare professional evaluates the resulting shadow for abnormalities. This procedure is typically applied to evaluate lymph nodes in the neck or axillary area, sinuses, or eyes. It can also be used for the small intestines and breasts.

Types of Transillumination

Transillumination is typically performed on patients using two primary types of light sources to examine the body. The two most common types of transillumination are indirect, which is used for neck, axillary, and breast examinations, and direct, which is used for abdominal examinations.

Risks Associated With Transillumination

Since transillumination is a non-invasive examination, it carries few risks for patients. The main risk associated with the procedure is the potential for wrong or inconclusive results that could lead to further invasive examinations.

Why Is Transillumination Used?

Transillumination is used to identify abnormalities in areas such as the neck, axillary, and breast areas that may not be visible through traditional medical examinations. By using a light source to examine areas of the body that are beyond the scope of vision, health professionals can diagnose diseases and other medical conditions quickly and accurately.

When Is Transillumination Used?

Transillumination is typically used when other diagnostic tools such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI cannot provide a clear enough view of the area being examined. It is also used to quickly rule out any serious illnesses or conditions that may require further attention.