X-Ray imaging is a trusted technology that has been used regularly in hospitals, medical offices and imaging centers for the better part of a hundred years, although the technology has been updated to include digitizing the information. X-Rays are created when an X-Ray machine sends radiation particles through the body and an image is left on a special X-Ray film. The images that show up are shades of white and gray, and indicate the presence of dense structures or objects. This occurs because the dense materials block the x-ray particles from reaching the film to varying degrees.
Air-filled structures are black or dark gray, while bone and metal may be white. Muscle, fluid and fat all appear in varying shades of gray. X-Ray is predominantly used to diagnose fractures; in patients with cough to diagnose pneumonia. X-rays can provide valuable information about practically any area of the body and are regularly used to diagnose disease, monitor therapies, support treatment planning and guide medical personnel during medical procedures.
Common x-rayed areas include the following:
- Hands, wrist, elbow, shoulder, forearm
- Arms and legs
- Full body skeleton
Radiologists at our X-Ray Imaging Center are specially trained to read these images and determine what these could mean to our patients and referring physicians.
You do not need to do anything special to prepare for your X-Ray procedure. Because of the nature of X-Ray technology, patients can eat, drink and take their regular medications prior to their imaging appointment without fear of disrupting their results. There may be extenuating situations in which this is not the case, so it is important to follow any instructions provided to you by your doctor or Imaging Center technologist.
Your X-Ray experience will depend largely on the areas of the body that are to be included in the imaging. You may be asked to take off your clothes and put on a hospital gown. From there, the technologist will position you so your images will have the best chance at developing clearly. You could be asked to stand up or lie down and move your body in a variety of poses. Let your technologist know if any of these positions are painful or you do not think you can hold them until the Imaging is completed. Most X-Ray procedures only last for a few minutes, but you may be required to take multiple images if they are blurry or otherwise unusable.
If your child is receiving X-Rays, restraints may be required. These restraints will not hurt your child but will be a valuable tool to help keep him or her in position and ensure that the images taken have the best chance at developing clearly so no repeat exposure is necessary. You will be asked to wear a lead apron to protect you from radiation exposure if you choose to stay in the room with your child.
At Mansfield Medical Imaging, we understand that you come to us at some of the most stressful times of your life. Our Imaging technologists and radiologists are always there to help you through the experience with understanding, patience and compassion. Contact us by calling 682-518-1234 to schedule your medical X-Ray Imaging appointment today.