Our patients periodically have many questions with regard to X-Ray imaging. Here we have compiled a few questions and provided a bit of information for you on this procedure. The first thing we'd like you to know is...
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE YOUR RADIOLOGY CENTER
From the moment you pick up your order from your doctor to have an X-RAY, you have the right to contact any imaging center you wish. That includes the right to call around and ask for pricing, services offered, and if they accept your insurance. You can select any X-Ray provider and have your records delivered to your doctor with no problems!
WHAT IS A ROUTINE X-RAY?
We have installed a new CR System (computerized radiography), which processes and stores the x-rays as a digital image. X-Ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. The most common X-rays taken are of the chest, bones and spine. X-Rays can produce diagnostic images of the human body on film or digitally on a computer screen. Usually 2 or 3 images (from different angles) are taken and often 3 images are needed if the problem is around a joint.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR AN X-RAY?
There is no special preparation required for an X-Ray. Women should inform the technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant or think they might be pregnant.
COMMON USES OF AN X-RAY PROCEDURE
The most common use of bone radiographs or X-Rays is to assist the physician in identifying and treating fractures. X-Ray images of the skull, spine, joints, and extremities are performed every minute of every day in hospital emergency rooms, sorts medicine centers, orthopedic clinics, and physician offices. Images of the injury can show even very fine hairline fractures of chips, while images produced after treatment ensure that a fracture has been properly aligned and stabilized for healing. Bone X-Rays are an essential tool in orthopedic surgery, such as spinal repair, joint replacements, or fracture reductions.
X-Ray images can be used to diagnose and monitor the progression of degenerative diseases such as arthritis. They also play an important role in the detection and diagnosis of cancer, although usually computed tomography (CT Scan) or MRI is better at defining the extent and nature of a suspected cancer. On regular X-Rays, severe osteoporosis is visible, but bone density determination detects early loss of bone density. Bone density determination is usually done on other specialized equipment.
HOW DO X-RAYS WORK?
Routine X-Rays involve exposing a part of the body to a small dose of radiation to produce an image of the internal organs. When X-Rays penetrate the body, they are absorbed in varying amounts by different parts of the anatomy. Ribs, for example, will absorb much of the radiation and therefore appear white or light gray on the image. Lung tissue absorbs little radiation and appear dark on the image. Usually, all chest organs will appear normal, and the radiographs will be filed away. The exposed film is either placed in a developing machine, producing images much the same way negatives from a 35 mm camera does, or they are digitally stored on a computer. After a few months or years, the images may be used to compare with later radiographic views of the chest if illness develops.
DO X-RAYS HURT?
Not generally. You will not feel any discomfort during the actual X-Ray procedure.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR AN X-RAY?
General X-Rays do not require any preparation.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER THE TEST IS DONE?
You may leave immediately following the exam as there are no side effects for an X-Ray procedure.