Diagnostic X-Ray at Medical City Denton
Please remember that the material presented here is for informational purposes only. If you have specific questions about a medical imaging procedure, contact your physician or the radiology department of the institution where your test will be performed.
An x-ray examination produces radiographic images. The examination is ordered by your physician.
Before your examination, a radiographer will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have. A radiographer, also known as a radiologic technologist is a skilled medical professional who has received specialized education in the areas of radiation protection, patient care, radiation exposure, radiographic positioning and radiographic procedures. As part of his or her duties, the radiographer will determine the amount of radiation necessary to produce a diagnostically useful image.
The radiographer may ask you to put on a hospital gown and to remove any jewelry underneath it. This gown has no metal snaps on it, because metal can interfere with the accuracy of the image.
If you are a woman of childbearing age, the radiographer will ask if there is any possibility you are pregnant. It is important that you tell the radiographer the date of your last menstrual period and whether there is a chance that you may be pregnant.
During the Examination
You may be asked to lie down on the X-ray table, although in some cases the radiograph will be taken while you are standing. To ensure that you are properly positioned on the table, the radiographer will look for anatomical landmarks. He or she will touch the sight of anatomy being imaged to position you correctly. You may be asked to hold your breath while the exposure is made. It is important not to move during the exposure, because any movement will blur the image.
A lead-equivalent rubberized shield might be used to cover your reproductive organs, unless its use would interfere with the examination. Sometimes the area that needs to be examined would be hidden if a shield were used.
Once the examination is complete, the radiographer will process your X-ray images, determine whether they are technically acceptable and assess whether additional films are needed. The films then will be given to a radiologist, a physician who specializes in the diagnostic interpretation of medical images.
After your radiographs have been reviewed by a radiologist, your personal physician will receive a report of the findings. Your physician then will advise you of the results and discuss what further procedures, if any, are needed.
The radiation that you are exposed to during this examination, like the radiation produced during any other X-ray procedure, passes through you immediately. You are not "radioactive," and it is not necessary to take any special precautions following your examination.