Many doctors use X-rays to gain a more precise view of the inside of your body. This non-invasive procedure can help doctors diagnose, monitor, and treat various diseases and medical conditions. We offer X-rays at our Boardwalk Diagnostics Locations with a referral from a provider.
What Is An X-Ray?
An X-ray is an imaging test that allows your doctor to view your tissues, bones, and organs without having to perform surgery. This test uses electromagnetic radiation to create photos of the inside of your body. Radiation exposure from an X-ray is typically low and considered safe for most adults. The benefits of an X-ray test often far outweigh potential risks, given how it can be extremely useful in helping doctors learn more about your health and medical condition.
Why Would I Need an X-Ray?
Your doctor may use an X-ray to diagnose a health condition and get a better view of areas where you may be experiencing pain or discomfort. An X-ray may also be used to monitor the progression of diseases, including breast cancer and osteoporosis, and to confirm your body is healing correctly following surgery or another treatment. Digestive issues, lung infections, arthritis, and bone cancer are some of the many health conditions that may require you to undergo an X-ray.
What Do X-Rays Show?
X-rays are most frequently used to examine and diagnose fractures, but may also be used to evaluate and diagnose a wide range of other health conditions. X-rays can show the presence of arthritis, tooth cavities, lung conditions, congestive heart failure, and blocked blood vessels. X-rays can also detect tumors, cancers, and items like coins and small toys that children have accidentally swallowed.
What Can X-Rays Diagnose?
X-rays can help doctors diagnose many different medical conditions, including those that affect your teeth, bones, tissues, organs, blood vessels, joints, digestive system, and chest. X-rays can also help doctors diagnose problems causing pain but often cannot diagnose problems with the muscles and ligaments. In some instances, doctors may order additional tests such as an MRI, CT scan, or endoscopy to properly examine and diagnose certain conditions.
What to Expect During an X-Ray
Before an X-ray, your doctor will ask you to remove your eyeglasses, jewelry, and all metal objects, as these can show up on an X-ray and obstruct your doctor’s view of the inside of your body. Your doctor will then help you get into position for the X-ray, whether it involves sitting down, standing up, or lying on an examination table. You may be instructed to hold your breath and stand still for short periods during the X-ray to prevent it from producing blurry images.
In some instances, your doctor may give you a contrast medium in the form of a drink, injection, or enema prior to your X-ray. A contrast medium usually contains iodine or barium, which can improve the quality of images produced by the X-ray. Your doctor may also instruct you to fast for several hours before your X-ray if your stomach and abdominal area are being examined.
After your X-ray, you can resume your normal activities. If you were given a contrast medium, your doctor might instruct you to drink plenty of fluids for the rest of the day to flush the substance out of your system.
How Long Do X-Rays Take?
The X-ray test itself usually takes no longer than 15 minutes. However, some preparation steps, such as an enema, may cause an X-ray appointment to last longer. Your doctor can provide you with a more accurate estimate regarding how long an X-ray will take based on the parts of your body being examined.
Are X-Rays Harmful?
It’s completely understandable why you may be concerned about radiation exposure during an X-ray. However, the level of radiation emitted is safe for most adults, with the exception of pregnant women, as radiation can harm a developing fetus.
In most cases, your doctor will place a lead apron over the parts of your body not being examined during the X-ray to reduce radiation exposure. The National Library of Medicine states that a chest X-ray emits a radiation dose equivalent to that which you’re exposed to from spending over 10 days in the environment.
What Happens Once My Results Are Ready?
After your X-ray results are ready, your medical team will show you the images and talk to you about their findings and diagnosis. In some instances, your doctor may order additional testing to confirm or further evaluate a diagnosis or condition. In the event you are diagnosed with a condition, your doctor will discuss all your available treatment options.
To learn more about X-rays, or any of the other types of imaging studies that we have available, please feel free to call either of our Boardwalk Diagnostics locations. Boardwalk Diagnostics in
Bedford – (972) 258-7465
Boardwalk Diagnostics in Irving – (972) 258-7480