X-ray (Routine Radiology) FAQs
What is Routine Radiology (X-ray)?
Routine Radiology (X-ray) is an excellent diagnostic tool for the evaluation of the skeletal, chest and gastrointestinal systems. The density of bone is not easily penetrated by X-ray; therefore the evaluation of the skull, spine, ribs, pelvis and upper and lower extremities are readily identified.
When is Routine Radiology (X-ray) used?
X-rays must be ordered by a physician, chiropractor, dentist, physician assistant or nurse practitioner licensed to prescribe. Due to the radiation exposure, X-ray can only be administered by a licensed radiographer.
There are three different “forms” of X-ray: skeletal, chest and gastrointestinal.
- Skeletal radiography is useful in diagnosing fractures, degenerative bone diseases, osteomyelitis, scoliosis, and some bone tumors.
- Chest radiography is a commonly prescribed order by physicians. It calls for two views of the chest at ninety degree angles that will demonstrate the thorax including the heart and lungs. These images can be helpful in identifying heart failure, enlarged heart, emphysema, pneumonia, pneumothorax, atelectasis and tumors.
- Gastrointestinal (G.I.) radiography is used to view the G.I. tract which includes the esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines. These are considered “hollow organs” and are easily penetrated by x-ray. Therefore, in order to adequately visualize these organs, a patient may be required to ingest a contrast agent or have one inserted directly into the organ.
Barium sulfate, air and iodine are effective in profiling hollow organs and veins. These tests are useful in diagnosing achalasia, diverticula, hiatal hernia, ulcers, gastritis, pyloric stenosis, tumor and obstruction and other possible conditions.
How are X-ray images taken?
X-ray film was utilized for many years to acquire a “hard copy” of images. Today, with enhanced technology, X-ray images are digital and can be diagnosed, reviewed and stored electronically through computers. This technology allows your medical record to be forwarded to any facility within a network.
Routine X-ray procedures of the skeleton and chest can be performed without an appointment. Gastrointestinal X-rays require an appointment through Central Scheduling and, in some cases, a “prep” to be taken by the patient prior to examination.