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All About X-Rays

Discovered in 1895, an X-ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of digital medical imaging. For over a century, X-rays have been performed by passing small, highly controlled amounts of radiation through the patient’s body, capturing the resulting shadows and reflections on a photographic (or digital) plate.

Why is an X-ray performed? Your medical provider may order an X-ray for a variety of reasons including: to examine an area where you are experiencing pain or discomfort, to monitor the progression of a disease, to assess how well a treatment is working or to diagnose a broken bone. A variety of medical conditions are diagnosed and monitored through X-rays, such as bone cancer, an enlarged heart, breast tumors, osteoporosis and blocked blood vessels.

What are the benefits of an X-ray compared to other imaging services? X-ray appointments are quicker than other imaging appointments, typically lasting less than 15 minutes. Results are available that same day, and in the simplest of cases, within the hour. Another benefit of X-rays is that they allow physicians to view the inside of your body without having to perform invasive surgery, meaning there is no pain or recovery time involved for the patient. One of the greatest benefits of X-rays is that they produce high-quality images, which allow them to detect diseases in their earliest stages. Through digital X-rays, doctors can closely monitor and better treat diseases, which means that patients have a much greater chance of recovery.

What to expect during your X-ray? During your procedure, an experienced radiologist will assist you onto an exam table or into a chair. A film cassette (plastic plate) will either be placed under the exam table or directly under the area of your body that will be X-rayed. Pillows may be used to help keep you in the proper position for the procedure. After you are properly positioned and comfortable, the radiologist will exit the room. While the X-ray is being taken, you will be asked to hold as still as possible, and to try to refrain from breathing. After the first X-ray is complete, you will be repositioned for additional images, and the process is repeated several times to ensure the best images. Your exam’s results will then be interpreted and forwarded to your physician, simple as that!

As a general rule, women should always inform their doctor and radiologic technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant, or if they are breast-feeding. The referring physician, in conjunction with the radiologist, will determine if the procedure is appropriate or whether another diagnostic procedure should be recommended.

At Maryville Imaging, X-rays are done on a walk-in basis with no appointment necessary. We are a full-service diagnostic center offering digital X-rays, as well as digital mammography, CT scans, bone density testing, ultrasounds and more. If you have any questions regarding your X-ray procedure or any other imaging service, please call 618-288-4929