When a person feels as though they are experiencing symptoms of a certain illness, there are many methods of procedures that can be performed by doctors to determine this. X-rays are a solid diagnostic tool that creates images of internal body parts. This type of diagnostic method uses short wavelength energy beams that penetrate through the outer layers of the body. X-rays can help doctors diagnose anything from a broken bone to whether or not a person is infected with cancer. This procedure is non-invasive procedure and the patient experiences no pain before and after the test.
Before receiving the x-ray, it is important for the patient to have a consultation with their health care professional to discuss any allergic reactions that may take place when going through the process of the x-ray. Some patients who are taking specific medications may have a reaction to the contrast dye. There are certain individuals that may not be able to receive x-ray testing. These individuals include expectant mothers and mothers that are nursing. Those who also suffer from diabetes or a weakened immune system can undergo different forms of x-ray scanning. There are often times procedures to adhere to the needs of patients who are ill, such as those infected with cancer.
The time frame for how long an x-ray procedures lasts depends on the patient and the area of question. Almost all who undergo x-rays are treated as an outpatient. In order to prepare for the test, a patient may be asked to not eat or drink prior to coming in or even given an enema prior, during or after the procedure. X-rays pose almost no risk to the patient after the scan. After the procedure is over, the doctor will look over the x-ray and determine whether or not the pictures are normal (which show no abnormalities) or abnormal (showing tumors, bone breakage, enlarged areas of the body). There is usually little misrepresentation with x-rays. If this happens, (on a very rare basis) the patient may be asked to come in again for a follow-up x-ray.
Last modified: December 28, 2010.