X-rays are a great diagnostic tool that can reveal lung conditions, bone fractures, and other health problems. They are a very low-risk procedure, but some people are concerned about the potential side effects. If you are unsure, talk to your doctor. In most cases, the risks of x-rays are outweighed by their benefits.
The x-ray – or radiograph – is an image created on film using invisible beams of radiation. To get an image, the technician positions the patient using anatomical landmarks. A computer transforms the images into a visual form. Some types of x-rays use a contrast medium to improve the contrast of the image. For instance, the air in the lungs can appear black.
X-rays are not usually very uncomfortable. However, you may be asked to sit in a chair or stand still, depending on the type of x-ray you are having performed. Your clothes may be removed, and you may be injected with a contrast medium. You should drink plenty of fluids to get rid of the medium.
While most x-rays are not harmful, a significant dose of radiation could increase the odds of congenital abnormalities by one percent. If you are pregnant, you should tell your physician before having an x-ray performed. Although the risk of harm is not high, the benefit of the x-ray versus the risk is often overshadowed by the amount of radiation you are exposed to.
Besides the usual precautions, pregnant women should also let their doctor know of any breathing issues. This is because the x-rays may be absorbed by the developing fetus. As a result, it is best to avoid x-rays on the abdomen.
X-rays can help detect cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues. These tests are also used to measure bone density. X-rays can be a helpful way to see whether you have arthritis. There are also some types of X-rays that are used for interventional procedures.
During an X-ray, a special apron will be worn. If you are in a wheelchair, you might have to be moved around to avoid metal parts from being x-rayed. Also, you might be placed in a protective shield to protect non-x-rayed areas of your body.
Before having an x-ray, you may need to remove jewelry and metal objects. For example, you might be asked to take your glasses, dentures, and belly button rings off. Plastic buttons and folds in your clothing can also be detected by the x-ray.
The radiologist will interpret the X-ray and send the results to your doctor. The X-ray Scarborough radiologist will also show you an x-ray that displays the most important information. Among the things you can learn from an x-ray is that you should avoid having metal in your lungs. X-rays can also help detect infections in the lungs.
Other X-ray tests include CT scans and angiography. Angiography uses higher doses of radiation, but is still safe. Similarly, ultrasound may be an alternative to X-rays for children.