X-Ray, also known as plain radiography, is the oldest diagnostic imaging procedure, and remains one of the most effective for its range of diagnostic applications. It uses small amounts of radiation that pass through the selected part of the body to produce an image. This procedure is often used to evaluate the chest, musculoskeletal system and if used with a contrast agent, the gastrointestinal system.
X-ray can evaluate abmormalities in the chest including lung cancer, pneumonia, fluid surrounding the heart and pulmonary embolism; the gastroinestinal and urinary tracts for detection of everything from blockages and stones to ulcers and tumors; and the musculoskeletal system when bone or joint injuries or disease are suspected.
What to expect
These tests typically take 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
Usually, you will not need to do anything special to prepare for an X-ray exam. However because of the technology involved, X-rays are hardly ever performed on a pregnant woman.
Follow any instructions given on the referral sheet you received from your physician. Like most other imaging exams, all metallic items including jewelry must be removed as they could interfere with the test.
Positioning of the body for the exam depends on the part of the body to be studied. Typically, you'll be lying down or standing up and must be very still while the images are taken. Usually several different views are obtained to see various angles.
If your X-ray exam includes using a contrast agent to examine the lower gastrointestical or urinary tracts, prior preparation will be needed. Fasting and possibly using an enema or laxative the night before the exam may be required. You will be given complete instructions prior to your appointment.
Please note: If you have children under 12 years old, please make other arrangements for childcare, as there are no childrecare facilities on site. Children under 12 may not be left unattended in the waiting areas. Due to the nature of the types of imaging exams performed and for safety purposes, children are not allowed in the examination rooms.