X-ray is a procedure that allows doctors to see what is going on inside a patient’s body. A radiologist performs radiology tests like X rays or CT scan. Doctors use the results of these tests to see if there are any issues in a patient’s bones, organs, teeth, or digestive tract. Radiology tests are common tests and can be performed on people of all ages.
Why a Person May Need a Radiology Test
People may need a radiology test for a number of different reasons. They are ordered by a doctor or specialist and are necessary for doctors to diagnose injuries and health problems. Some of the most common reasons a person may need a radiology test include:
- Broken bone
- Dislocated joint
- Undiagnosed pain
- Digestive issues
- Tooth problems
- Lung problems
Preparing for a Radiology Test
The type of preparations needed for a radiology test depends on the area of the body that will undergo X-ray. Doctors may ask patients to fast for 24 hours before some types of radiology tests. Patients also have to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, belts, and any metal accessories before the radiology test.
Radiology Test Recovery
During the procedure, the patient will lie down on a table or have to stand against a wall. Some patients will have to wear a cape or blanket to block the X-rays from certain parts of the body. This is to protect organs from unnecessary radiation. The radiologist will prepare the machine and then step behind a wall or shield for protection.
The radiologist will operate the X-ray machine and will snap photos of the patient. Beams of radiation are directed through the body to create the photos. Bones and some organs show up on the images and doctors can see if there are any health problems or injuries.
Some patients may be asked to hold their breath, open their mouths, and even move into different positions so the X-rays can penetrate specific areas of the body that the doctor needs to see. Most radiology tests take less than an hour to complete.
Radiology Test Complications
There are very few complications involving X-rays. The biggest complication is the exposure to radiation. X-rays are only done out of necessity because radiation can damage the healthy tissue in the body and even lead to cancer. The more X-ray exposure a person gets, the higher the risk of healthy tissue damage and cancer. Some patients may also feel tired after a radiology test and even struggle to lay or stand for the duration of the test.
Radiology Test Results
Doctors receive the test results from the radiology lab and will inspect the photos to see if there are any problems. X-rays can show a variety of different results. Doctors may use them to diagnose an injury or check on the progress of treatment. They can also be used to rule out certain health problems. Most doctors will show their patients the results of the test and explain these to them.