General X-Ray diagnostic exams may be ordered by your physician to diagnose conditions in the chest, bone, sinuses, skull, or spine. It is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-ray is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bones. It can also be used to diagnose and monitor the progression of degenerative diseases. Unlike most forms of radiation, x-rays can pass through body tissue, making it possible to provide images of internal structures without performing surgery.
There is no special preparation required for most x-rays. Once you arrive, you may be asked by the technologist to change into a gown before your examination. You will also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, and any metal objects that may obscure the images. During the procedure you may be standing up or lying down on an examination table.
There is little reason to worry about the small amount of radiation you will be exposed to when you receive an x-ray. However, if you are pregnant or suspect that you may be, you should tell your physician or technologist before the test is performed, as special precautions may have to be taken.
Fluoroscopy is a form of diagnostic radiology that enables the radiologist, with the aid of a contrast agent, to visualize the organ or area of concern via the x-ray in real time. This contrast agent allows the image to be viewed clearly on a television monitor or screen. The contrast agents may be introduced into the body through injection, swallowing, or an enema. Fluoroscopy tests consist of a series of images taken by a radiologist, followed by a series of images taken by the technologist. There may be special preparation required for a fluoroscopy procedure and this will be discussed with the patient when the examination is scheduled.