The X-Ray is the oldest form of medical imaging as well as the most common. Discovered in 1895 by Wilhem Conrad Roentgen (and by complete chance, as a matter of fact,) X-Ray machines use radiation to create an image of the inside of the body. The machine produces a very concentrated beam of electrons known as X-Ray photons. The X-Ray beam travels through the air and then through the body and falls on a piece of film or special plate in order to cast a shadow. X-Ray images may be viewed on film or a computer screen after first undergoing a process called digitizing.
For some X Ray exams, contrast agents may be used in order to highlight parts of the body so they show up clearer on the X Ray image.
Exams are most often used to view bones, joints and arteries, and can diagnose cancer, artery blockages, fractures, and much more.
During the X Ray exam itself, the patient must either lie on an exam table or stand next to the machine. The patient must be very still during the exam, and multiple images will be taken from multiple different angles. If a contrast agent is used, it will be taken by mouth, as an enema, as an injection, or by catheter into a specific area of the body.
The X-Ray exams don’t last very long and are pain free for the patient, but the radiation exposure can be of some concern. The amount of radiation varies depending on the X-Ray type and machine type, and more information about the specific amount of radiation received can be garnered by the patient’s doctor.
The radiologist is responsible for analyzing and interpreting the results of the X Ray, and will then send a report to the patient’s doctor. The results will usually take around a day or so to interpret and deliver. There are several different types of X Ray machines Amber Diagnostics offers, including RAD Rooms, R/F Rooms, and Portable X-Rays. For more information on X-Ray machines, contact Amber today.