What is x-ray imaging?
X-ray imaging, or plain film radiograph, is the oldest and most common type of imaging. It provides valuable information by capturing a detailed image on digital film using a small dose of radiation. It is a non-invasive exam that involves exposing a part of the body to invisible x-rays, allowing highly detailed pictures of internal structures to be produced.
Why is this exam done?
X-ray imaging is usually the best initial test to evaluate for many problems, as it is performed quickly and uses only a tiny amount of radiation. Typically, x-rays are used for imaging of:
- the chest for pneumonia or fluid
- bones for fractures
- the abdomen for kidney stones
What will happen during the exam?
A radiologic technologist will escort you into a special room where he or she will take the images. Multiple images are often needed to achieve the best results and ensure proper evaluation.
What are the risks and benefits?
You will be exposed to a small dose of radiation during your exam, which in general is negligible as an isolated exposure. If your doctor has sent you for x-rays, he/she believes that the benefit of obtaining images outweighs any exposure risk.
Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or think there is a possibility you may be pregnant.
For children, and whenever else possible, lower doses of radiation are used. Shielding is also provided to parts of the the body not being imaged, most importantly the reproductive organs.
How should I prepare?
No preparation is needed. Please bring your referral/requisition if your doctor has provided one. Be sure to take all prescribed medications as scheduled. There are no special instructions or limitations after your x-ray is taken.