General Radiology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is an X-Ray?

X-ray imaging is perhaps the most commonly known form of diagnostic testing. Similar to visible light, x-rays use electromagnetic radiation, which contain wave-like forms of energy.


What radiologic procedures are available?

Computerized and digital x-ray equipment is utilized to produces a more detailed study of the body. X-rays are most commonly used for taking images of bones to examine injury or diagnose tumors, and are often used for visualization of the urinary and gastrointestinal systems.


How is the test performed?

A licensed technologist will perform the exam. A brief history will be obtained and you may be asked to put on a hospital gown and remove metal objects. How you are positioned depends on the type of x-ray being done. Several different x-ray views may be needed. You need to stay still when you are having an x-ray. Motion can cause blurry images. You may be asked to hold your breath or not move for a second or two when they image is being taken.


How to prepare for the test?

Before the x-ray, tell your health care team if you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Metal can cause unclear images. You will need to remove all jewelry and may need to wear a hospital gown.


How will the test feel?

X-rays are painless. However, some body positions needed during an x-ray may cause temporary discomfort.


Are there any risks associated with X-rays?

X-rays are monitored and regulated so you get the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. For most conventional x-rays, the risk of cancer or defects is very low. Most experts feel that benefits of appropriate x-ray imaging greatly outweigh any risks. Young children and babies in the womb are more sensitive to the risks of x-rays. Tell your health care provider if you think you might be pregnant.


When will I know my results?

The radiologist will study your films and report the findings to the referring physician within 24 hours. The referring physician will discuss the x-ray results with you.

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