Frequently Asked Questions about X-Rays
X-rays are invisible beams of ionizing radiation that pass through the body. These beams are changed when they meet structures in the body, and then create images. The result is a two-dimensional picture that shows bones, lungs and organs. We use lead shield to decrease the exposure to radiation in areas of your body that are not being imaged. X-rays are produced only when a switch is on for a moment. As with visible light, no radiation remains after the switch is turned off.
Our radiologists and X-ray technologists have been trained to use the minimum amount of radiation necessary to get the needed results. When imaging is done properly and only when medically necessary, there are minimal risks. The amount of radiation used in most exams if very small. The benefits greatly outnumber the potential harms.
X-rays over your lifetime:
If you have had frequent X-ray exams, it is a good idea for you to keep a record of your x-ray history. This record can help your doctor make an informed decision about whether an x-ray is the right choice. It is also very important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant before having an x-ray.
How much radiation is used in these exams?
The amount of radiation we absorb from an x-ray depends on many factors, most importantly; the type of x-ray being done and the area of the body being imaged and its size. Radiation can be measured in various ways. Measurement can estimate the radiation dose delivered to the whole body or to an individual organ. Because every patient differs in size and shape, different s-ray settings must be used.
How do we minimize radiation risk?
We make sure that you are exposed to the smallest amount of radiation possible during an imaging study by following these guidelines:
- Image only when there is a clear medical benefit
- Use the lowest amount of radiation possible to create the required x-ray image
- Image only the indicated area and use proper lead shielding
- use other diagnostic studies such as ultrasound or MRI when possible