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What is it?
An X-ray is a quick and painless test that produces images of the structures inside your body — particularly your bones.
How does it work?
Different parts of the body absorb different amounts of x-ray radiation, depending on the density of the material they pass through. Dense materials, such as bone and metal, show up as white on X-rays, while the air in your lungs appears as black. Fat and muscle appear as gray.
For some types of X-ray tests, in order to highlight certain details of your body, a contrast medium may be administered.
How to prepare
There isn’t much preparation when conducting an X-ray examination. You will be required to undress whatever part of your body needs examining so loose clothing and no jewelry is advised. You will also be requested to remove any metal objects you have on your body such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, belts etc
What to expect
During the examination
- In some cases, you will be given a contrast medium to help highlight a specific area of your body on the X-ray image. This can be swallowed, injected or received by enema.
- You will be placed in front of the X-ray machine and asked not to move
- The procedure is painless and instant – like taking a picture
What to expect
- If contrasting agent wasn’t administered, you can resume your daily activities normally
- If contrasting agent was administered, you will be instructed to drink lots of fluids to help the kidneys expel the contrast from your body
- A Radiologist will analyze your images and send a report to your doctor. The next steps will be discussed with your referring Doctor
What are the risks?
X-rays are completely safe when operated by the hands of professionals. However, there are minor risks which should be considered:
The amount of ionizing radiation you are exposed to is significantly small and empirically proven to not cause any long-term harm.
2.Harm to unborn babies
Although radiation from an X-ray is unlikely to harm an unborn baby, your doctor may recommend another type of exam, such as ultrasound or MRI, to avoid exposing the fetus to radiation.
3.Reactions to contrast material
In extremely rare occasions, the contrast material has caused medical problems or allergic reactions. This can be avoided however, by filling out the pre-examination questionnaire we provide.
Generally, X-ray radiation exposure is so low, that the benefits from these tests far outweigh any minor potential risks.