Diagnostic X-ray imaging is a true medical marvel as it helps doctors detect and treat everything from bone fractures and cancerous tumors to swallowed objects and pneumonia. If you or your primary care provider think you need an X-ray, here are 10 facts you should know about getting one and where you can go for X-rays in Fort Worth, Texas.
X-ray imaging takes just minutes to complete. After you are comfortably positioned on the examination table, the technician directs focused beams of electromagnetic radiation into the body areas in question. What results is a digitally enhanced, black-and-white image of both hard and soft tissues, such as bones and organs. Bones show up as white on X-rays, and organs can show up when the patient is given medically safe dye that makes organs more visible.
For most X-rays, there’s little to no patient prep. However, in the case of an X-ray of the internal organs, you may have to drink medically safe dye (contrast dye) to enhance the image production. Other more specialized X-rays may require a period of fasting, such as upper GI X-rays.
Sometimes, doctors cannot pinpoint why patients express discomfort or have other symptoms, such as swelling, redness, or tenderness.
X-rays are often used by doctors in this situation because they can study your symptoms and your X-rays to come to a diagnosis. X-rays can detect bone fractures, tumors, pneumonia, blocked blood vessels, and more. Once X-ray images help confirm a diagnosis, treatment planning can proceed with greater accuracy.
In the past, X-rays imaging tests delivered a fair amount of radiation into the patient. Chest X-rays were particularly high-dose, and both doctors and patients worried about radiation side effects.
Modern X-rays deliver far less radiation – up to 40 percent lessin the past 20 years. While it’s important to use all X-rays judiciously, particularly for pregnant women and for children, providers and patients can rest assured that today’s radiation exposure is very low and the risk minimal.
This is particularly true of specialized tests such as CT scans. Additionally, multiple X-ray views of a suspected injury or disease process helps the provider plan the best treatment.
Gone are the days of bulky X-ray cassettes, large films, envelopes, and huge cabinets filled with X-ray results. X-rays are highly portable because they are now digital files that can be emailed or shared with providers in multiple locations simultaneously.
The technician takes the X-rays and then digitally sends them to the physician for evaluation. This takes just minutes, not hours or days. Thus, patients get results more quickly, and treatments can begin sooner.
Side effects from X-rays are extremely rare. While X-rays do expose you to radiation, which can slightly increase the risk of cancer, X-rays provide a very low dose of radiation.
However, some people do have reactions to contrast dye used in some X-ray tests. These reactions can include nausea, hives, itching and more. If you have a history of sensitivity to contrast medium, tell your physician and your X-ray technician so they can use alternate dyes or refrain from using them at all.
While discovered more than 100 years ago, X-rays are extremely useful in medical imaging. Health care providers of all types and specialties often order X-rays as the first and best method of assessments for disease and injury.
You do not have to go to a large hospital to get an X-ray. In fact, smaller facilities, such as urgent care centers and orthopedic clinics, use some of today’s best digital X-ray equipment, helping patients get on the road to recovery quickly.
Walk into EMC Express Care to receive fast, safe, accurate X-rays to evaluate an injury or illness. We have experienced technicians who will take you through the process comfortably, and you’ll get results within minutes.
Call us today at (817) 503-8800 to learn more, or simply stop by EMC Express Care. We are open seven days a week, including most holidays, from 10 am to 8 pm. We look forward to serving you!