Health A to Z Last updated on 2023-03-27 17:38:53
X-Ray: Types, Preparation, Risks & More | X-Ray Near Me
- Dr Pavani Battula
- 6 Min Read
- Fact Checked
X-rays are a form of medical imaging technology used to create images of your internal organs and structures. There are different types of X-ray procedures, each of which is widely used by doctors to diagnose and monitor a wide range of conditions. In this article, we’ll explore what X-rays are, why they are done, who should get them done, precautions to take, what an X-ray scan measures, the different types of X-ray tests, and more.
Table of contents
- What is an X-ray?
- Why is an X-ray done?
- Types of X rays
- Diagnostic X-rays
- Computed tomography (CT) scans
- Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)
- Who should get an X-ray done?
- What precautions should I take?
- What does an X-ray scan measure?
- What are all tests included in the X-ray scan?
- Preparing for an X-ray scan
- The X-ray procedure
- Risks involved
- How long does an X-ray take?
- After the X-ray scan
- When will I get my report?
- How will I get my report?
- How do I book an X-ray scan through the MFine app?
- Interpreting the X-ray report
What is an X-ray?An X-ray is basically a form of electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength that's shorter than the wavelength of visible light. X-rays are produced by a machine that generates high-energy beams that pass through the body and create images on a film or a digital sensor. The images produced by X-rays show the bones and other structures inside the body, making them a valuable diagnostic tool.
Why is an X-ray done?An X-ray is done to diagnose and monitor various conditions, including broken bones, dental problems, lung infections, and cancer. X-rays are also used to guide certain medical procedures, such as the placement of a catheter or a pacemaker.
Types of X raysThere are several types of X-ray procedures. Some of the most common ones are:
Diagnostic X-raysThese are the most common type of X-rays used in medical imaging. They are produced when a stream of high-energy electrons is made to collide with a metal target of high atomic weight, which emits X-rays. These X-rays then pass through the body and are picked up by a special camera or detectors. Diagnostic X-rays are used to create images of bones, organs, and tissues in the body.
Computed tomography (CT) scansCT scans are commonly used to diagnose cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. These use a special type of X-ray machine that rotates around the body to produce multiple images from different angles. A computer then combines these images to create a detailed 3D image of the body. Read more on the 6 things you should know before going for a CT scan.
FluoroscopyThis is a type of X-ray that is used in real-time, allowing doctors to see the movement of organs and other structures in the body. Fluoroscopy is often used during surgical procedures, such as angioplasty or stent placement.
MammographyThis type of X-ray is used specifically to image the breast. It uses a lower dose of radiation than diagnostic X-rays and is used to screen for breast cancer or to diagnose breast lumps or other abnormalities.
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)This is a specialized type of X-ray that is used to measure bone density. It uses two different X-ray beams to create an image of the bone and can be used to diagnose osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions. There are also other types of X-rays used in industrial and scientific applications, such as X-ray diffraction and X-ray spectroscopy, which are used to analyze the structure and composition of different materials. Book a DEXA scan now!
Who should get an X-ray done?X-rays are recommended for individuals who are experiencing symptoms such as pain, swelling, or discomfort in a specific area of the body. They are also used to screen for certain conditions, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, and osteoporosis. Your healthcare provider will recommend an X-ray if they suspect that an imaging test is necessary for your diagnosis and treatment.
What precautions should I take?X-rays are generally considered safe, but precautions must be taken to minimize exposure to radiation. If you're pregnant or think you may be pregnant, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider before having an X-ray. You should also inform your provider if you have any metal implants, as they can interfere with the imaging. Excessive exposure to X-rays increases the risk of cancers, hence get the x rays done only if required under the guidance of your doctor.
What does an X-ray scan measure?An X-ray scan measures the density of the structures in the body that the beam passes through. Dense structures, such as bones, appear white on the X-ray, while less dense structures, such as organs, appear gray. This contrast in density allows the radiologist to identify abnormalities or damage to the structures in the body.
What are all tests included in the X-ray scan?There are different types of X-ray tests that can be done depending on the area of the body being imaged. Some of the common types of X-ray tests include chest X-rays, dental X-rays, bone X-rays, and mammograms. Each of these tests serves a different purpose and requires different positioning of the body.
Preparing for an X-ray scanThis would depend on the type of X-ray being performed. If it’s a simple X-ray to check fractures, then you don’t need any special preparation such as a fast. But if it’s fluoroscopy, for example, then you may be asked to fast overnight or as advised by your doctor. Therefore, before any scans, always consult your doctor about what you need to do. Apart from that, you will be asked to remove any metal objects, including jewelry and clothing that contain metal, for the actual procedure, as they can interfere with the images. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown or other clothing that does not have metal components.
The X-ray procedureDuring the procedure, you'll be asked to stand against a surface or lie down on a table, depending on the area of the body being imaged. The technician will position the X-ray machine and take the necessary images. You will be asked to remain still during the procedure to avoid any blurring or distortion of the images.
Risks involvedX-rays are generally considered safe and carry minimal risk. However, there is a small amount of radiation exposure associated with X-ray scans. The amount of radiation exposure is considered to be low, and the benefits of the procedure typically outweigh the risks.
How long does an X-ray take?The duration of an X-ray scan typically depends on the type of scan being performed and the area of the body being imaged. The entire process usually takes less than 30 minutes, with most scans taking only a few minutes.
After the X-ray scanIn most cases, unless it’s a fracture or something more serious, you will be able to return to your normal activities immediately. There are no side effects associated with an X-ray scan, and you can resume your regular activities immediately following the procedure. Read on if MRI is safe for everyone.
When will I get my report?When you book a radiology scan with us, you get access to 600+ labs across the country and reports within the next 12 hours, and films in the next 15 to 20 minutes. What’s more, you also get a discount of upto 50% off on X-rays, MRIs, and other scans. Same-day slots are available! Book Now!
How will I get my report?Your reports will be available for download on the MFine app. To download your report, go to the MFine app
- On the top left-hand side of the screen, click on the three lines (burger menu)
- Under the records section, click on “Health Files”
- Next, click on the “Attachments and Reports” icon to download your reports
How do I book an X-ray scan through the MFine app?Follow these simple steps to book a radiology scan with us
- Download the MFine app
- Register using your phone number
- That’s it! You’re done
- Now on the top right-hand corner, you’ll see an “X-rays, MRIs & scans” icon
- Click on that to get started
Interpreting the X-ray reportAfter getting your reports, one of our doctors will get in touch with you to interpret the test results for you. Don’t worry. This is a FREE consultation wherein the doctor will explain the results to you and discuss any necessary treatment or follow-up that may be required.
ConclusionIn conclusion, remember that there are different kinds of X-rays, such as diagnostic x-rays, CT scans, mammography, DEXA scans, and fluoroscopy. Each of these is an important method for determining a person’s medical condition. The procedure is non-invasive and carries minimal risk. Patients should prepare by removing any metal objects before the procedure, but no other special preparation is usually required unless otherwise specified by your doctor. After the procedure, patients can immediately resume their normal activities. Book scans and X-rays!
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