An X-ray is a common imaging test that is used to help your doctor diagnose, monitor, and treat many medical conditions. X-rays are a type of radiation used in medical imaging much like a camera uses visible light to create an image. X-rays pass through the body and create an image on film based on how many X-rays get absorbed and how many pass through. These films are commonly referred to as “X-rays,” but X-rays are actually the type of radiation that is used to produce the image.
How the procedure is performed
Once you’re fully prepared, the radiographer will tell you how to position your body to create clear images. They may take images while you stand in front of a specialized plate that contains X-ray sensors. In some cases, they may also ask you to lay or sit on a specialized plate and move a large camera connected to a steel arm over your body to capture X-ray images. It’s important to stay still while the images are being taken as this will help provide the clearest images possible.
How long will it take?
The process to taking the film will last only a few minutes, but the radiographer may need to take a multiple X-rays with different positions. This usually takes no more than 5–10 minutes.
How safe is an X-Ray examination?
The patient will be exposed to low levels radiation however side effects are minimal to non existant as great efforts has been made to ensure the safety of the patient while providing quality diagnostic images. However, female patients who are or might be pregnant MUST inform the radiographer, who will cover the lower abdomen or pelvis with a lead apron to protect the unborn child.
How should you prepare for an X-Ray?
In most cases, you won’t need to take special steps to prepare for an X-Ray. Depending on the area to bring examined you may want to wear loose, comfortable clothing that you can easily move around in. The radiographer may ask you to change into a gown before the examination and ask you to remove any jewellery or other metallic items from your body before your X-Ray is taken.
When will I get my results?
The radiologist will examine the X-ray films after your visit and a write a report of their findings and will sent it to your referring doctor within 24 hours.