X-rays is a form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays can penetrate some solids and liquids, and all gases. X-rays are used to image the inside of objects in diagnostic radiography. X-ray pulses illuminate the body part to make an X-ray image on a radiographic film placed behind the body part. Any bones that are present absorb most of the X-rays. The X-rays that pass through the flesh leave an image in the film. The parts of the image corresponding to higher X-ray exposure are dark, leaving a white shadow of bones on the film. X-rays are useful in the detection of some diseases. For example, chest X-ray can be used to identify lung diseases such as pneumonia or lung cancer, and the abdominal X-ray to detect intestinal obstruction.
At our walk-in "x-ray near me" clinic, many different types of x-ray services are available such as but not limited to: abdominal x-ray, musculoskeletal x-ray, lumbosacral x-ray, spine x-ray, immigration x-ray, head x-ray, foot x-ray, hand x-ray, ankle x-ray, elbow x-ray, neck x-ray, leg x-ray, chest x-ray, scoliosis x-ray series. Your doctor may order one or more of the following x-ray tests:
An x-ray of the chest, lungs, ribs, diaphragm, heart, and larger arteries (commonly called chest x-ray) is performed if you have signs of any of the following:
A persistent cough
Difficulty in breathing
Chest pain or injury
Blood discharge with coughing
Lung cancer or another lung disease
A chest x-ray may also be performed for meeting Immigration Canada requirements.
An x-ray of the abdomen is performed to look at organs such as stomach, spleen, intestines and urinary system namely kidney, ureters and bladder (KUB X-ray). It is used to:
Diagnose a pain in the abdomen area
Assess the organs and structures of the urinary system and identify problems like kidney stones
Identify blockage of the intestine (constipation)
Lumbosacral Spine X-ray
A lumbosacral spine x-ray is an x-ray of vertebrae in the lumbar region and the sacrum. It is generally ordered to diagnose the cause of lower back pain that persists for more than 8 weeks, is severe, occurs after an injury or is present due to old age.
Head and Neck X-ray
A head and neck x-ray is used to diagnose problems with body parts above the shoulders. It is used to:
Look for the causes of pain/numbness/weakness in the arm, shoulder, neck, and hand
See fractures or foreign objects
Diagnose ear infections, sinus infections, too much snoring, soft-tissue problems
X-ray Frequently Asked Questions
Given below are answers to some of frequently asked questions related to x-rays. Should you have any other questions related to your x-ray test, please feel free to ask us.
What are X-rays?
X-rays refer to radiation, waves or particles that travel through the air like light or radio signals. X-ray energy is high enough that some radiation passes through objects such as internal organs, body tissues, and clothing onto X-ray detectors such as film or a detector linked to a computer monitor. In general, objects that are more dense such as bones and calcium deposits absorb more of the radiation from the X-rays and don’t allow as much to pass through them. These objects leave a different image on the detector than less dense objects. Specially trained or experienced physicians can read these images to diagnose medical conditions or injuries.
What are the benefits of X-rays?
X-ray imaging exams are recognized as a valuable medical tool for a wide variety of examinations and procedures including:
Non-invasive and painless diagnosis of disease and monitoring of therapy;
Support of medical and surgical treatment planning; and
Interventional procedures such as placing catheters, stents, or other devices inside the body, or removing blood clots or other blockages.
Are there any risks with X-rays?
There is always a slight risk of damage to cells or tissue from being exposed to any radiation, including the low levels of radiation used for this test. But the risk of damage from the X-rays is usually very low compared with the potential benefits of the test. For example, the radiation exposure from a chest X-ray is about equal to the natural radiation exposure received during a round-trip airline flight from Montreal to Vancouver.
You can reduce your radiation risks and contribute to your successful examination or procedure by:
Keeping a medical X-ray history
Making your current healthcare provider aware of your medical X-ray history
Informing X-ray technologists in advance if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
Can I refuse an X-ray examination?
You do have the right to refuse the X-ray examination. If you do, please inform your physician that you have, as it may determine your treatment.
Why do I have to tell if there is any chance of me being pregnant for my x-ray test?
The embryo is a rapidly developing/dividing cell system. This makes it sensitive to x-ray radiation, especially in the first trimester. A significant dose of x-ray radiation could increase the incidence of congenital (existing from birth) abnormalities by 1% over the natural incidence. It is proven that radiation in utero is harmful but it should be noted that the probability of this occurrence is small. If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are trying to become pregnant, PLEASE, notify the technologist before your x-ray exam takes place. That way an assessment can be made of your specific situation to determine any risk to an unborn child. If it is decided that the risk is too high, then you may be asked to come back at a later date for your X-ray examination.
Does an x-ray examination hurt?
You will not feel anything during the x-ray exposure. It is the same as having your picture taken with a regular camera. You may be asked to hold an uncomfortable position or hold your breath for a short time to get a clear image of the body part being examined. The medical radiation technologist will assist you in finding a comfortable position that ensures diagnostic imaging quality. Any movement could blur the image and make it necessary to repeat the procedure to get a diagnostic x-ray image.
What do I have to wear or remove for the x-ray examination?
We suggest you wear clothing you can easily remove as you may have to disrobe for the X-ray. Buttoned and heavily embroidered shirts will have to be removed for chest and spine X-rays and you will be given a gown. Abdomen views, hips, femurs, knees will usually require a gown, unless you are wearing pull-on pants or sweats without any metal or buttons. In a lot of cases, wearing a gown is necessary because many things can show up on your film and can add, obscure or cover the required information in the x-ray image. There are obvious things such as coins, zippers, keys etc. Sometimes, plastic buttons, folds of clothing, or wallets, cards etc., can show up as well. You will have to remove any jewellery around the affected areas, for example, earrings, necklaces, glasses and dentures for upper spine and belly button rings for lower spine x-rays.
Will the technologist tell me if they see anything wrong?
Technologists are not allowed to diagnose X-rays. A radiologist (a doctor specifically trained to interpret radiology examinations) will analyze the images and a report with his or her interpretation will be provided to your doctor who requested the x-ray examination.
When can I expect the results of my X-ray examination?
The time that it takes your doctor to receive a written report on the x-ray procedure you have had will vary, depending on:
The urgency with which the results in needed
The complexity of the examination
Whether more information is needed from your doctor before the examination can be interpreted by the radiologist
Whether you have had previous x-rays or other medical imaging that needs to be compared with this new x-ray test
How the report is conveyed by us to your doctor (email, fax, mail, telephone, etc.)
If there is anything that requires immediate attention, your doctor’s office will contact you and inform as to the best course of action. It is important that you discuss the results with the doctor who referred you, either in person or on the telephone, so that they can explain what the results mean for you.