X-rays are very short wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation that can penetrate matter to produce an image of bones and internal organs. Physicians and practitioners use x-ray images to confirm a diagnosis or a clinical finding, such as extremity fracture or pneumonia.
When x-rays pass through a patient, the various parts of the body absorb the x-ray beam in different ways. Dense tissues, such as bones, appear white, and less dense tissues, such as muscles and organs, appear in shades of gray. X-rays that pass only through air appear black.
You should expect to be placed in various positions and to hold still. Movement, positioning and body mass may affect the diagnostic usefulness of x-rays. It is also helpful to bring any relevant prior films or information (date and location) of other imaging exams, so physicians can compare new films with old ones, if they are available.
Due to potential radiation exposure, only patients are permitted in the x-ray room. Supportive partners, including parents, are asked to remain outside the x-ray room during filming. If you have small children, you are encouraged to make arrangements for their supervision during your exam.
You will have a lightweight “coil” placed adjacent to the part of your body being examined. A coil looks like an oversized brace and acts like a camera lens—helping obtain the sharpest images possible.
MRI scanners make clicking sounds so earphones will be used to dampen the sound. You will be able to listen to music or radio through these earphones. We have a wide selection of music, or you are welcome to bring your own CD or iPod.
Your technologist will constantly monitor and communicate with you throughout the exam and is immediately available for any concerns you may have.
For some exams, the radiologist will order intravenous (IV) contrast for enhanced visualization.
General x-ray examinations may take only a few minutes to complete. You will be asked to remove any jewelry and clothing that may interfere with the x-rays. A gown will be provided as needed.
General x-ray exams (i.e. chest and extremity exams) are available on a walk-in basis and require no special preparation.
Your exam will be interpreted by a board certified radiology physician from TRA Medical Imaging. Your report will be sent to your referring physician or healthcare practitioner who will review your results with you.