X-rays are a common imaging test that have been used for more than 100 years. They allow your provider to see the bones, tissues and other structures inside your body without having to do surgery. Tri-County Health Care's radiology staff is highly trained to collect accurate images to aid in diagnosis and treatment.
Producing a clear image
X-rays are produced in-house in one of two radiographic rooms, one of which has digital fluoroscopy technology. Digital fluoroscopy is a form of X-ray that provides detailed, live images of function and structure of areas like the intestines, the bladder, the cardiac muscle and the stomach. Unlike a regular X-ray, which records the single image to film, digital fluoroscopy records a series of images to a computer.
What will the exam be like?
You will meet your technologist whose primary concern is your care and well-being. This technologist has completed a rigorous education and training, and works under close supervision of the radiologist to assure the most accurate results.
You will either stand or lie down during the examination, depending upon the X-Ray procedure performed. During the procedure, the technologist will leave the room for brief periods to make changes to the equipment settings on the control panel. You may be instructed to hold your breath while the X-rays are being taken (any movement will blur the image.)
Some examinations require taking several films. If this is the case, the technologist may re-position you for additional views.
You may be required to take a contrast media to help define the area under study. This is usually given by mouth or injection.
Computed radiography allows the use of a minimal amount of radiation. Images are sent to the radiologist and your provider by computer and are stored permanently and retrieved by computers. Guidelines for safety are set by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement, which is a department of Health and Human Services.
How long will the exam take?
The exam usually takes 10-30 minutes. This allows for preparation as well as time for processing the images. Actual exposure time is fractions of a second. Time may vary significantly depending on the nature of the study and other factors.
How will I learn the results?
The radiologist will study the examination and consult with your provider, who will explain the results to you.
Tell your doctor or technologist if you are:
- Pregnant, or think you may be.
- Allergic to iodine or other materials.
You should also:
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Avoid wearing jewelry or any clothing with metal clips or buttons. Metallics may interfere with the accuracy of the film image.
Be sure to ask your provider or technologist any questions relating to your examination. These questions will help your care team to evaluate your particular situation and adjust their care as needed.