Diagnostic x-ray at Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) is offered for both adult and pediatric patients. X-ray imaging can be useful for viewing internal organs and structures, tissues, bones and tumors.
What is diagnostic x-ray?
An x-ray is electromagnetic energy with a very short wavelength. Body parts exposed to x-rays absorb the energy (radiation) differently, depending on their density and composition. This allows doctors to see differences in various parts of your body. As a result, bones will appear white, soft tissues will be gray and air in the lungs will be black.
Common Diagnostic X-ray Studies
- Fluoroscopy (for example UGI or colon).
- Spine exams.
- Chest x-rays.
- Abdominal studies.
- Extremities (arms, legs).
Before the Test
Your doctor or our staff will provide specific instructions to prepare you. Different exams require different preparation. There is no preparation for a routine x-ray exam. Wear loose-fitting clothes without zippers, buttons, clasps or any metal. It is best not to wear jewelry, since you will be asked to remove it. If you are scheduled for a diagnostic x-ray that requires a contrast agent, such as barium or iodine, you may be restricted from eating before the test.
During the Test
You may be given a gown to change into or asked to expose the area of your body under study. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects that can interfere with the x-ray image. Depending on the exam, you may be given a contrast agent to drink or it may be administered intravenously or by enema. The technologist will position you in the x-ray room and instruct you to remain very still while he/she takes the necessary views. You will not feel anything different while the x-rays are being taken. The entire process can take anywhere from a few minutes for simple bone x-rays to an hour or more for procedures involving a contrast agent.
After the Test
After most x-rays, patients are released to resume normal activities. If you receive a contrast agent prior to your exam, you may be given special instructions regarding food and drink to help flush the contrast from your body. Nursing mothers who receive contrast materials may be advised not to breast feed for a few days. If the site of an IV injection becomes swollen, red or painful after one to two days, call your doctor.
The diagnostic x-ray team is composed of individuals who are specially trained and experienced with x-ray procedures. The team includes:
- Board-certified radiologists (MDs).
- Licensed radiological technologists.
- Registered nurses.
- Highly qualified and experienced support staff consisting of secretaries, transcriptionists, and transporters.
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