Things You Need To Know About Before Having An X-Ray

An X-ray is commonly used to provide an image that will help healthcare providers to detect their patient’s medical condition. It helps them to picture what is currently happening inside the body without surgery. Let’s find out the things you need to know before having the procedure.

Why is an X-ray done?

An X-ray is performed to look at an area where the patient is feeling pain or discomfort. It is also used to assess the progress of a disease after it has been diagnosed. Finally, X-rays are used to determine if the treatment and medication provided is working well for the patient.

Why have an X-ray?

An X-ray is the first procedure to be requested by a physician if you have a fracture, bone cancer, breast tumour, enlarged heart, or any other condition that affects the digestive and respiratory systems. You may also need to undergo an X-ray due to the following conditions:

  • Blocked blood vessels
  • Respiratory conditions such as tuberculosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Tooth decay
  • Swallowing a foreign object that cannot be digested

What are the side effects?

Technically, X-rays expose you to radiation but in a very small amount. The amount of the radiation an X-ray emits is not harmful to normal adults but is unsafe if you are pregnant. If you have a fracture or are in a lot of pain, then it might worsen during the procedure.

Another factor that you may need to look into is the ingestion of a contrast agent before an X-ray procedure. If you have ingested it, then you might feel a little nauseated with light-headedness and itching. The contrast dye may also cause an allergic reaction which is similar to an anaphylactic shock.

How should you prepare for an X-ray?

There is no special preparation for an X-ray to be conducted. All you have to remember is that you need to wear loose clothing or probably a hospital gown. You must also remove any metallic items like jewellery before the procedure. Let the radiologist know if you have any metallic implants similar to a pacemaker as this may block the X-rays from penetrating your body, which will hinder a clear image.

Fasting is only required if you are undergoing a digestive X-ray. Some patients may need to take medications to empty the bowels to make sure that there is a clear picture of the entire digestive system.

If you undergo a private X ray in London, your doctor may request that you stay in the hospital for a while, otherwise you can go back to your everyday life. Your doctor is then tasked to review and study the images created by the X-ray machine. Depending on the result, you might need to undergo additional exams to properly conclude a diagnosis. Your doctor might request an ultrasound, a CT scan or blood tests to ensure that they will be able to provide you with the right course of treatment.

Before anything else, make sure that you ask your doctor for as much information as you need to understand your condition and the procedures and treatments that come along with it.