X-Rays are a form of radiation that we use to help diagnose a number of internal problems within the human body. While x-rays do not penetrate bone, they are extremely useful from a diagnostic perspective and also beneficial from a treatment perspective. For instance, radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, can direct beams of x-rays to kill off cancer cells without killing healthy cells around tumors. Information from diagnostic x-rays can "shed light" on tumors, obstructions of various types and the effects of various diseases (like arthritis) that are helpful for physicians to know in order to offer a patient treatment options.
What To Expect?
You will be asked questions about your medical history, and any medications you are presently taking, as they may impact on whether or not you can have an x-ray performed at this time. If you're a woman, and pregnant, this is also extremely important for us to know. If you recently gave birth to a child and you are nursing your baby, we need to know. Your age is also an important factor, since certain types of x-ray procedures may not be recommended for those too young or too old. If you have diabetes, or are HIV positive, we need to know. There are other factors that need to be addressed/discussed, and we will go over them with your prior to your x-ray procedure.
Trinitas Diagnostic Imaging is not an inpatient facility, meaning all of our work is done on an outpatient basis. Therefore, our patients come to us from various cities and towns in the surrounding area, and leave when their testing is completed.
You will be positioned on our x-ray table, and parts of your body that are not necessary to examine may be shielded with lead-lined material. We'll administer contrast dyes if they are needed for the procedure, and administer the radiation needed to produce your x-rays. It's that simple. It's generally painless, and diagnostic x-rays have no "recovery time" associated with them.
|If you're having an x-ray that involves the injection of fluid, such as flouroscopy or angiography, a radiologist is present and the procedure is more like an ultrasound in that the results are seen live, in real-time.
About Your Results
The films are immediately reviewed by an x-ray technician to make sure you were positioned properly and that the right exposures and angles are correct. Your x-ray technician cannot interpret your results, even though many people ask in the hope that they can get an instant answer. They are not physicians, and, as such, they cannot make such an interpretation. If you ask, and our technician politely declines to tell you anything related to your x-rays, please understand that they're simply doing their job and staying within the legal and ethical boundaries of their licensing requirements.
Your results may be normal, with no abnormalities, or abnormal, which could indicate lymph node problems, tumors or other problems.
The risks associated with x-rays themselves are minimal-to-non-existent, but any exposure to radiation is always a cause for concern. Please ask your physician about the impact of x-rays and how your particular medical history and physicial condition might impact on your decision to undergo testing.
Preparing For An X-Ray
There are little-to-no preparations needed for most x-rays. You might be asked to avoid eating or drinking certain foods or liquids in some cases, and some x-ray studies may require an enema or the use of a contrast agent administered before, or during, a procedure.
If your doctor suspects that you have colon cancer or Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, you may be scheduled for an x-ray of the colon, with the use of contrast agents, commonly referred to as a barium enema. We have specific instructions you will need to follow to prepare for this test, and we will discuss these instructions with you in detail.
Upper GI Series
Another test that involves the use of barium liquid as a contrast agent is an upper gastrointestinal series, or upper GI series. This test involves studying the esophagus, the stomach, or the small intestines for ulcers, cancer, and more. We also have specific instructions you will need to follow to prepare for this test, and we will also discuss these instructions with you in detail.
To Our Patients
At Trinitas Diagnostic Imaging, we want you to know that our goal is to help you through the diagnostic testing phase of your treatment in a professional manner. Our entire staff is here to help you, to answer questions and provide you with a safe, comfortable environment in which you can receive your test/procedure quickly and efficiently.