What is an X-Ray?
X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film. X-rays are made by using external radiation to produce images of the body, its organs, and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes.
When the body undergoes x-rays, different parts of the body allow varying amounts of the x-ray beams to pass through. The soft tissues in the body (such as blood, skin, fat, and muscle) allow most of the x-ray to pass through and appear dark gray on the film. A bone or tumor are very dense and allows only a few of the x-rays to pass through to expose the film. These dense structures then appear white on the x-ray. However, when the x-ray is allowed to pass all the way through, like at a break in a bone, it exposes the film and appears as a dark line.
What to Expect During Your Exam
The actual x-ray is a short and painless exam. A typical X-Ray only takes about 15 minutes. However, some special exams may take several hours to complete. Please ask your physician or contact Centralized Scheduling at 231-845-2357 for specific information regarding the length of an exam.
Once you arrive in Radiology you may be asked to change into a gown depending on the type of exam you are having. You will also be asked to remove any jewelry overlying the body part to be imaged. The technologist will also ask you various questions about your symptoms and explain the exam to you.
During the exam the technologist will optimally position the appropriate body part into the field of view, and take an exposure. It is typically necessary to take several views from different angles to properly evaluate the area in question. Depending on the type of exam ordered, you may be asked to sit, stand, or lie on an imaging table, or receptor.
It is extremely important to remain still, and hold the position the technologist has placed you in. Failure to do so will result in a blurry image and require the technologist to take additional images.
After the Exam is Complete
Once the technologists have checked the images for proper positioning and exposure parameters it will be sent electronically to a Radiologist to be read. Following radiologist dictation, a medical transcriptionist will type a report and send it to your physician. The post exam processes; exam dictation, report transcription, radiologist review of report and signature, usually takes 2-3 business days.
Your physician does have several options at his or her disposal to obtain immediate results for critical or emergent clinical situations.