X-ray examinations

An x-ray examination is used to create images of your internal organs or bones to help diagnose conditions or injuries. A special machine emits (puts out) a small amount of ionising radiation. This radiation passes through your body and falls on a film or similar device to produce the image.

The dose of radiation you will receive depends on the area of your body being examined. Smaller areas such as the hand will receive a lesser dose, compared to a larger area such as the spine. On average, the dose of radiation is roughly the same as you would receive from the general environment in about one week.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Another type of test may be recommended.

Radiographers and radiologists
The two types of health practitioners involved in x-ray examinations are:
a radiographer who conducts the examination
a radiologist (a medical specialist) who interprets x-ray images.

How x-rays work
A tiny amount of ionising radiation is passed through the body. In the past, this went onto a sheet of special film. Nowadays x-ray examinations are more likely to use a device that will capture transmitted x-rays to create an electronic image.

The calcium in bones blocks the passage of radiation, so healthy bones show up as white or grey. On the other hand, radiation passes easily through air spaces, so healthy lungs appear black.
When x-ray examinations are used
This test is very common. About seven million x-ray examinations are made every year in Australia. Some of the many uses include:
diagnosis of fractures – detection of broken bones is one of the most common uses of this test
diagnosis of dislocations – an x-ray examination can reveal if the bones of a joint are abnormally positioned
as a surgical tool – to help the surgeon accurately perform the operation. For example, x-ray images taken during orthopaedic surgery show if the fracture is aligned or if the implanted device (such as an artificial joint) is in position. X-rays may also be used in other surgical procedures for the same purpose
diagnosis of bone or joint conditions – for example, some types of cancer or arthritis
diagnosis of chest conditions – such as pneumonia, lung cancer, emphysema or heart failure
detection of foreign objects – for example, bullet fragments or swallowed coins.

Medical issues with x-ray examinations
Medical considerations prior to the procedure may include:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Another type of test may be recommended.
A conventional x-ray examination does not require any special preparation.
Some x-ray examinations involve the use of an iodinated contrast agent (a type of dye). This substance helps to improve the detail of the images or to make it possible to see body structures such as the bowel or blood vessels. The hospital x-ray department or private x-ray clinic will give you instructions on how to prepare for the test and what to expect.
X-ray examinations can only detect severe cases of osteoporosis. Your doctor may suggest other tests to help confirm the diagnosis.



Reference : https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/x-ray-examinations

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