X-ray imaging is used to examine the inside of the body by creating an image similar to a photograph. It is one of a range of medical imaging technologies used at Peterborough’s private healthcare Avicenna Clinic to help with diagnosis and treatment.
X-rays are a type of radiation known as ionising radiation. The dose that you get from a medical x-ray examination is very low and the associated risks are minimal.
You cannot feel x-rays and so the procedure itself is painless.
X-rays can be used to examine most areas of the body. They’re mainly used to look at the bones and joints, although they’re sometimes used to detect problems affecting soft tissue, such as internal organs and help doctors to diagnose your medical condition and plan appropriate treatment.
Problems that may be detected during an X-ray include:
- bone fractures and breaks
- tooth problems, such as loose teeth and dental abscesses
- scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine)
- non-cancerous and cancerous bone tumours
- lung problems, such as pneumonia and lung cancer
- dysphagia (swallowing problems)
- heart problems, such as heart failure
- breast cancer
X-rays can also be used when administering an image guided injection.
What can I expect?
An x-ray is very quick. It is often the first point of investigation to help doctors and consultants decide if any other forms of imaging or tests are needed.
Your private x-ray procedure at Avicenna Clinic will be performed by a highly-trained radiographer who will discuss the procedure with you prior to your examination.
The radiographer will ask you if you are happy for the x-ray to go ahead. This is a form of verbal consent and may only involve the radiographer checking you are booked for the correct x-ray. If you do not wish to have the x-ray or are undecided, please ask the radiographer so that they can answer any questions you may have.
There are many different x-ray examinations and, depending on the procedure involved in your case, you may be asked to remove certain items of clothing and jewellery. You may also need to wear a hospital gown.
Avicenna Clinic uses the latest in cutting-edge medical equipment. The clinic’s Philips digital x-ray machine provides high-resolution, detailed images even of areas deep within the body. It gives instant results without waiting for x-ray film to be developed.
What are the risks?
X-rays are of a type of radiation known as ionising radiation. The dose that you get from a medical x-ray is very low and the associated risks are minimal. They are similar in strength to other sources of natural radiation that people are exposed to everyday without even realising it. The radiographer is responsible for making sure that your dose is kept as low as possible and that the benefits of having the x-ray outweigh any risk.
Radiation can be harmful for an unborn baby. If you are, or think you may be pregnant, you must tell the radiographer before the x-ray.
For some examinations, the radiographer may check your pregnancy status with you before the x-ray.
What should I wear?
There are various items of clothing that can affect the quality of the x-ray, which means you may be asked to remove them and wear a hospital gown.
If you do not wish to change into a hospital gown, then please do not wear clothing with zips, metal or buttons and clothes that are made from thick material.
You may also be asked to remove jewellery, dentures, glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.
Depending on that type of examination that you are having, it will determine what you need to remove or not. If you are concerned, please speak with the clinic and they will be able to advise you.
Can I bring a relative/friend?
You may bring a friend or relative with you to the x-ray department when you have your x-rays, although they will not normally be allowed into the examination room.
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer childcare facilities so if you need to bring your children with you, please bring along an adult who can supervise them while your examination is being done.
If you have any medical problem which you feel may affect your safety in the department, or if you feel you may need any assistance, please let us know when you arrive.
Will it hurt?
You cannot feel x-rays and so the procedure itself is painless. However, it is important for the radiographer to get you into the correct position. Holding this position or lying on the x-ray table may, for some people, feel uncomfortable, but for most patients this is not the case.
If you have any further questions regarding your x-ray examination, please do call Avicenna Clinic on 0330 202 0597 and let one of its highly-trained consultants put you at ease and talk you through the process.
Dr Hany Elmadbouh
Dr Hany Elmadbouh specialises in musculoskeletal radiology and offers a comprehensive musculo-skeletal diagnostic and intervention service. He has a special interest in spine imaging and intervention. Hany has extensive experience as a consultant radiologist and became a full-time private radiologist in 2013. He is founder and lead consultant of Avicenna Clinic. More>>