Meet Frank, Tucson resident
Since their discovery in the late 1800s, X-rays have been the most widely used of all diagnostic imaging tests and often allow doctors to detect problems quickly. Frank, a Tucson resident, had to have multiple X-rays of his knees and shoulders to evaluate several old sports injuries. X-rays can be used to detect not only broken bones but a wide range of other disease processes.
X-ray imaging (radiography) is still the most commonly used technique in radiology. To create a radiograph, a part of the body is exposed to a very small quantity of X-rays. The X-rays pass through the tissues, striking a film or detector to create an image. X-rays are safe when properly used by radiologists and technologists specially trained to minimize exposure. No radiation remains after the radiograph is obtained.
Digital radiography (digital X-ray) is a form of X-ray imaging where digital X-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film. Advantages include increased efficiency by eliminating the need for chemical processing and the ability to digitally transfer and enhance images. Also, less radiation can be used to produce an image of similar contrast to conventional radiography.
X-rays can be used to image every part of the body and are used most commonly to look for fractures. They are also commonly used to examine the chest, abdomen, and superficial soft tissues. X-rays can identify many different conditions, and they are often a fast and easy method for your doctor to make a diagnosis.
After you arrive for your appointment, you will be escorted to a procedure room, where you may be asked to change into a patient gown. You should remove all jewelry and other removable items such as glasses, dentures, and hearing aids. Women should always inform their technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.
X-rays are fast, easy, and painless. The part of your body to be examined will be properly positioned, and several different views of that body part may be obtained. The technologist will instruct you to hold still and in some cases to hold your breath while the X-ray is being taken to eliminate blurring on the image. X-ray exams generally take around 20 minutes, after which you will be able to return to your normal activities.
For your safety and the protection of others, we do not allow anybody except patients in our exam rooms.
After your study, the images will be evaluated by one of our board-certified radiologists with expertise in X-ray imaging. A final report will be sent to your doctor or healthcare provider, who can then discuss the results with you in detail.