X-Rays, Here’s What You Should Know

X-ray is an examination procedure using electromagnetic wave radiation or X-rays to display pictures of the inside of the body. In addition to detecting health problems, X-rays can also be used as a supporting procedure in certain medical procedures.

On an X-ray, an image of a solid object, such as bone, will be shown as a white area. Meanwhile, the air contained in the lungs will appear black and the image of fat or muscle is shown in gray.

In some types of X-rays, additional dyes (contrast) are used, which are drunk or injected, such as iodine or barium. The purpose of this coloring agent is to make the resulting image clearer and more detailed.

This X-ray procedure is carried out in a hospital by a doctor or trained radiology officer. Although radiation has a risk of triggering the growth of cancer cells, radiation exposure from X-rays is considered very small and considered safe, especially when compared to the benefits.

X-ray Indications

X-rays are done to see the condition of the inside of the body, from bones, joints, to internal organs. There are various conditions and diseases that can be detected with X-rays, including fractures, osteoporosis, infections, digestive disorders, heart-swelling, and breast tumors.

In addition to detecting problems that occur in the body, X-rays can also be done to observe the progress of the disease, find out the progress of the treatment being carried out, as well as serve as a guideline for carrying out certain procedures, such as placing a ring on the heart.

The following are some examination procedures that use x-ray technology, namely:

1. X-ray

radiography X-ray radiography is generally used to detect fractures, tumors, pneumonia, disorders of the teeth, and foreign objects that enter the body.

2. Mammography

Mammography is done by doctors to examine and detect various abnormalities in the breast, such as the growth of cancer cells, tumors, or calcium accumulation.

3. CT scan ( computed tomography )

CT scan combines X-ray technology with a computer system to produce images of conditions inside the body from various angles and sections. CT scans can be used to detect a variety of health problems, from pulmonary embolism to kidney stones.

4. Fluoroscopy Fluoroscopy procedure

aims to observe the condition of the body’s organs in real-time by producing a sequenced image resembling a video. In addition to detecting various health problems, fluoroscopy can also be used to support certain medical procedures, such as the installation of a heart ring.

5. Radiation therapy

Unlike the types of X-rays above which are generally used to detect disease, radiation therapy is used to treat cancer by damaging the DNA of tumors and cancer cells.

X-Ray Alert

If you are pregnant, tell your doctor about it. Although there is a very small risk to pregnancy, X-rays are usually not recommended for pregnant women except for emergency measures or when the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Parents are advised to discuss with their doctor the benefits and risks of X-rays on their children before this procedure is performed. The reason, children tend to be more sensitive to radiation exposure.

Before X-ray

Usually, there is no special preparation for undergoing X-rays. However, if the X-ray to be taken uses a contrast agent, sometimes the patient is asked to fast and stop taking certain drugs first.

For examination of the digestive tract, the patient may also be asked to take laxatives so that the picture of the intestine is clear of feces.

It is advisable for the patient to wear comfortable and loose clothing. Patients may be asked to change clothes or pants with clothes that have been provided from the hospital.

In addition, avoid using jewelry or metal accessories when going for an X-ray because it can block the resulting image. If the patient has metal implants in the body, tell the doctor before the procedure.

X-ray procedure

During the X-ray, the patient may be asked to lie down, sit, or stand, and perform certain positions according to the part of the body to be photographed or examined. For example, for a chest X-ray, the patient is usually asked to stand up.

Photo film in the form of a plate which will be processed into an image is placed according to the part of the body you want to photograph. Parts of the body that are not scanned will usually be covered with a protective cloth to avoid exposure to X-rays.

Next, an X-ray device that resembles a tube and is equipped with a light will be directed at the part of the body to be examined. The device will produce X-rays to produce images of the inside of the body on a special photo film.

When taking X-rays, the patient is asked not to move and hold his breath so that the image does not blur. Therefore, for pediatric patients, sometimes a strap is needed to hold the position so that the child does not move. To be clear, this X-ray photo can be taken from several angles.

During the taking of X-rays, the patient will not feel anything. However, for patients with fractures, patients may feel pain or discomfort when they have to move the body position.

X-rays only last for a few minutes. However, for certain X-ray procedures, such as the use of contrast agents, the procedure may take up to 1 hour or more.

After taking X -rays

After the X-ray, the patient can change back into hospital clothes with his personal clothes. Depending on the condition of each patient, the doctor can advise the patient to rest until the photos come out or allow the patient to go home immediately.

If the X-ray procedure is carried out using a contrast agent, the patient is advised to drink lots of water to help remove the contrast substance from the body through urine.

The results of the X-ray will be studied by the radiology doctor. The results of the photo can also be given to the patient after printing. The length of time that X-rays are released varies. In an emergency, results can be issued in minutes.

X-ray Complications

X-rays generally do not cause complications. Although radiation has the risk of triggering the growth of cancer cells, radiation exposure from X-rays is relatively small and is considered safe.

However, complications may occur if X-rays are performed with the administration of contrast agents, especially those that are injected. These complications can include the appearance of an allergic reaction or the injection area feels pain, swelling, and redness.

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