What is a general X-ray (General Radiology)?
An X-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions by producing visual images of the inside of the body. X-ray imaging involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.
What are some common indications for an X-ray ?
A chest X-ray is typically the first imaging test used to help diagnose symptoms such as: shortness of breath, a bad or persistent cough, chest pain or injury, fever, pneumonia, heart problems and emphysema.
Other uses of bone X-ray procedures include: diagnosing broken bones or joint dislocations, determining proper bone alignment, stabilizing bony fragments following treatment for a fracture, looking for injuries, infections, arthritis, etc., and detecting changes in bone growth due to metabolic conditions.
How should I prepare for an X-ray?
Chest X-rays require no special preparation. Patients may be asked to remove some or all of their clothing, jewelry, dentures, eyeglasses, and any other metal objects that may interfere with the X-ray procedure.
Women should always inform their physician and X-ray technologist if there exists any possibility they may be pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy for the general safety of the fetus.
What does the equipment look like?
Our X-ray machine is a tube-shaped device suspended over an exam table. A drawer located under the table holds the digital recording plate. Our X-ray unit is state-of-the-art and does not require any films, but instead uses plates or chemical processing materials. The integrated computer system records all the data digitally.
How is the procedure performed?
The chest X-ray procedure is typically performed with two views: back and side. The X-ray technologist, a specially trained professional, positions the patient to stand against the imaging plate with their hands on their hips to generate the back view. For the side view, the patient stands facing sideways against the imaging plate with their arms elevated. Patients not able to stand may be positioned lying down on a table for chest X-rays.
To ensure clear imaging results, patients are asked to remain still and hold their breath for a few seconds during the X-ray procedure. For his or her safety, the X-ray technologist temporarily steps out of the room to initiate the actual X-ray transmission.
Upon completion of the X-ray test, patients are asked to wait a few moments until a determination can be made on the adequacy of the test results. The technologist may need to re-take the test or perform additional views to meet the requests of the attending physician. The X-ray test procedure is normally complete within 15 minutes.