Diagnostic Radiology (X-Ray)
Diagnostic Radiology, more commonly known as x-ray, is a procedure in which an invisible form of energy is used to take a picture of the inside of your body. It is very similar to taking a picture of you with a camera.
The purpose of an x-ray is to:
- provide images of the inside of the body.
- provide valuable information in order to diagnose, monitor or assist in the treatment of disease and injury.
An x-ray is a relatively safe and painless procedure. A technologist will assist you throughout the x-ray procedure. You will be positioned depending on what part of the body is being x-rayed. An x-ray film will be placed lightly against the part of the body to be x-rayed, or may be inserted into the x-ray machine. After you are positioned and the film is in place, the technician will ask that you be very still. For some x-rays you may be asked to hold your breath for a couple of seconds. The technician will step behind a glass and take your x-ray.
After the exam, the radiologist will provide your physician with an interpretation of the results of your x-ray. Your physician will then be able to make a diagnosis and explain the findings to you.
There is no prep involved for a regular x-ray. Sometimes a liquid called contrast medium is necessary to highlight certain structures. This is given to you either in the form of a drink, through an IV, or by an enema. If contrast is needed for your exam, you will be asked to avoid certain foods and fluids.