X-rays (x-rays) are a quick and painless procedure commonly used to produce images of the inside of the body. You can find more information below.

What is X-ray?

An X-ray , also known as X -rays , is a quick, painless test that produces images of structures in your body – especially your bones. X-rays pass through your body and are absorbed in different amounts depending on the intensity of the areas they pass through. Dense areas such as bone and metal appear white on x-rays. The air in your lungs appears black. Fat and muscle appear in shades of gray. For some types of X-ray tests, a contrast agent such as iodine or barium is given to your body to provide more detail about the images.

Why is x-ray used?

This scanning technology is used to examine many parts of the body.

bones and teeth

  • Fractures and infections: In most cases, fractures and infections in the bones and teeth, this procedure clears up.
  • Arthritis: X-rays of your joints can reveal evidence of arthritis. These images, acquired over the years, can help your doctor determine if your arthritis is getting worse.
  • Tooth decay: Dentists use x-rays to check for cavities in your teeth.
  • Osteoporosis: Special types of x-ray tests can measure your bone density and detect possible problems such as osteoporosis (bone loss) .
  • Bone cancer: This imaging technology can also reveal bone tumors.
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Chest

  • Lung infections or conditions: Evidence of pneumonia, tuberculosis, or lung cancer may appear on chest X-rays.
  • Breast cancer: A mammogram is a special X-ray test used to examine breast tissue.
  • Heart enlargement: This sign of congestive heart failure is clearly visible in this imaging procedure.
  • Clogged blood vessels: Injecting an iodine-containing contrast agent can help highlight parts of your circulatory system to make them visible in this technology.

Your wife

  • Digestive problems: Barium, a contrast agent given with a drink or enema, can help reveal problems in your digestive system.
  • Ingested items: If a child has swallowed something like a key or coin, x-rays can show the location of that object.

What are the risks of X-rays?

Risks generally include the following:

radiation exposure

Some people worry that X-rays are not safe because exposure to radiation can cause cell mutations that can lead to cancer. The amount of radiation you are exposed to during this procedure depends on the tissue or organ being examined. Sensitivity to radiation depends on your age, and children are more sensitive than adults. Generally, however, radiation exposure is low and the benefits of these tests far outweigh the risks.

However, if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant, you should tell your doctor before the procedure. While the risk of harming an unborn baby with diagnostic x-rays is small, your doctor may consider another imaging test, such as an ultrasound.

Side effect of contrast agent

In some people, a contrast agent injection can cause side effects such as:

  • A feeling of warmth or flushing
  • a metallic taste
  • dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Hives (urticaria)
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In rare cases, the following may also occur:

  • severe low blood pressure
  • anaphylactic shock
  • cardiac arrest

What happens in an X-ray?

The following takes place in this procedure:

During x-ray

This imaging procedure is taken in doctors’ offices, emergency rooms, and hospitals – wherever there is an X-ray machine. The machine produces a safe level of radiation that passes through your body and records an image on a special plate, and you don’t feel it.

The specialist using the device positions your body to obtain the necessary views. He or she may use pillows or sandbags to help you hold your position. During the X-ray exposure, you remain still and sometimes hold your breath to avoid movement so the image does not become blurred.

The procedure usually takes a few minutes, but more extensive procedures, such as procedures using contrast media, may take longer.

Child x-ray

If a young child is being X-rayed, restraints or other techniques may be used to keep him still. These will not harm the child and will prevent any repeat procedure that may be necessary if the child moves during the x-ray exposure. You may be allowed to stay with the child during the test. If you stay in the room during X-ray exposure, you will likely be asked to wear a lead apron to protect you from unnecessary exposure.

After x-ray

After the procedure, you can usually resume your normal activities. Routine x-rays usually have no side effects. However, if you were injected with a contrast agent before the procedure, you may drink plenty of fluids to help rid your body of it. If there is pain, swelling or redness at the injection site, it is useful to inform your doctor. You can also ask your doctor about other symptoms to watch out for.

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Results

X-rays are digitally saved on computers that can be viewed on screen within minutes. A radiologist usually views and interprets the results and sends a report to your doctor, and then your doctor explains the results to you. In an emergency, your imaging results can be presented to your doctor within minutes.

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