X-rays are a type of high energy radiation that can pass through the body. Dense tissue such as bone blocks x-rays, meaning that an x-ray image will show the inside of your body, using the body’s density as the image’s ‘dark’ and ‘light’ sections of the image. These images, interpreted by a radiologist, can diagnose many conditions.
WHAT HAPPENS IN AN X-RAY?
An x-ray is like having a photograph taken, but of the inside of your body. An imaging plate will be placed behind the area to be x-rayed. The x-ray machine will deliver a short burst of x-rays through this part of your body. The x-rays will pass through your body and arrive on the imaging plate placed behind you.
From the imaging plate a digital x-ray image is produced. This x-ray image is studied by a specialist consultant radiologist, who is an expert in x-rays. The radiologist will send a report to your referring clinician.
X-rays are painless and cannot be seen or felt. You will be asked to stay still during the x-ray.
WHAT DO X-RAYS HELP TO DIAGNOSE?
Any abnormalities of bone or teeth, such as fractures.
Abnormalities in joints such as osteoarthritis.
Size and shape of the heart to help with the detection of some heart conditions.
Changes to the density of soft tissues such as breast or lung.
Fluid in certain organs such as the lung or gut.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF X-RAYS?
X-rays are painless, affordable and fast, and may be all that is required in order to diagnose a condition or abnormality.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH X-RAYS?
There is very low risk associated with having an X-ray and our advanced digital x-ray equipment ensures the minimum radiation exposure is used to produce optimal images. However, repeated tests may damage cells in the body which could lead to cancer. The dose of radiation used is always kept to a minimum.
X-rays are not recommended for pregnant women. Please let the radiographer know if you think you may be pregnant.