When you get an X-ray, beams of X-rays (a type of radiation) shoots through your body. Although you can't see or feel these rays, different parts of your body absorb them at different speeds, which allows the camera to capture an image of your bones or organs.
Don't worry. It's not as bad as it sounds. There's really no need to be worried about your X-ray.
We've put together this guide to show you what you can expect during the X-ray process. Make sure you keep reading below for a breakdown of your X-ray appointment.
How to Get Getting Ready
There isn't much you have to do to get ready for an X-ray. Unlike other types of surgeries or procedures, you can keep eating and drinking like normal right up to your appointment.
However, you'll need to tell the X-ray technologist if you're pregnant (or if there's even a chance you might be pregnant). X-rays can be dangerous to the fetus, so you may want to avoid getting an x-ray if possible in this case.
You'll also want to remove any metal accessories, such as rings, earrings, or other jewelry. If you wear glasses, you'll need to take them off before the X-ray. These items can get in the way of the X-ray image and make it difficult to see or diagnose the affect area.
Make sure you wear clothing that is loose and comfortable. You may have to undress the part of the body that needs the X-ray, so you'll want to be able to remove your clothing easily. Depending on the type of X-ray you're getting, you may have to put on a hospital gown first.
What to Expect During the X-Ray
Once you check into the office, you'll be called back into the X-ray room. There will be a large table in this room positioned under a camera (which will take the X-rays). The X-ray technologist will walk you through the process so you know what to do and what to expect.
Before the X-Ray
Before they take the X-rays, the technologist will help you get into the right position. You may have to lay on the table or stay standing, depending on which part of your body needs the X-ray. If the position is difficult to hold, the technologist may give you pillows or sandbags to help you stay in place.
Once you get into position, you have to stay as still as possible. Even a small movement can cause the X-ray images to blur. Let the technologist know if you're having trouble holding the position. They may be able to adjust things to make it easier for you.
The technologist may also ask you to hold your breath during the X-ray, especially if you're getting a chest X-ray. They'll let you know when to hold your breath and when to let it out again.
In some cases, the technologist may give you a contrast agent (that'll help them see the images better). You may need to swallow a pill or get a shot before the pictures.
During the X-Ray
When you're ready for the X-rays, the technologist will turn on the X-ray machine. They may have to leave the room to do this, so don't be concerned if the technologist walks away during the process.
You'll hear strange noises as the technologist takes the pictures, such as loud clicks or buzzing. This is normal. However, if you feel nervous, make sure you let the technologist know. They'll be able to let you know what is happening so you understand what's happening.
The technologist will probably take pictures from two to three different angles. Between angles, they'll come back into the room and help you reposition (if necessary).
The entire process should only take a few minutes, but depending on the type of X-ray you need, it may take much longer. It's not uncommon to be taking X-rays for an hour or more.
After the X-Ray
You should be able to review the X-ray pictures a few minutes after you take them. Because of this, the technologist may have you get changed (if you're wearing a gown), meet you in a different room, and review the images with you the same day.
However, you may have to wait to see your X-ray pictures until a different visit. It may take time to diagnose what's in the pictures.
If you aren't able to see the results of your X-rays on the same day, the next step is setting up another appointment with your doctor. They'll be able to tell you how long you have to wait so you can see the images as soon as possible.
Walking Through the Process of X-Rays
Taking an X-ray is a simple and straightforward procedure. You shouldn't be uncomfortable in any way during the appointment (the X-ray itself doesn't hurt). And if you know what to expect during an X-ray and prepare for it in advance, the process will be even easier.
Once you get your X-rays, you can figure out the best treatment for your condition so you can get started on the road to recovery.
Are you dealing with any pain? Do you think you might need an X-ray?
We can help you find the source of your pain and figure out the best treatment option for you. Don't hesitate to give us a call or visit our office in person today!