What is an X-ray?
X-ray is known as a painless process of capturing the images of inner bone structures using a specific kind of ray. Since the beginning, X-ray has always been one of the most widely used processes of all time. In other words, it has always been considered as one of the easiest procedures for the medical experts to have a look inside your body without making any kind of incision.
There are several kinds of X-rays and each kind has their own purposes. Although there are certain risks of an X-ray, the advantages are undoubtedly more. The wide use of X-ray can be seen to detect the defects in the bones. The doctors understand the exact damage or defect that has taken place in the bone after having a close look at the X-ray report. When the X-ray beams pass through our body, they are absorbed as per the density of several sections of that specific part of the body such as bone and muscles.
Why is it done?
The medical experts may suggest you to go for an X-ray if,
- Examine any specific part of your body where you are feeling uneasiness and discomfort.
- Monitor treatment response of any pre-diagnosed disease.
- Have a look at the progress of any continuing treatment.
There are so many conditions in which a person may need an X-ray. Some of those are mentioned below,
- Enlarged heart
- Breast tumors
- Bone cancer
- Digestive complications
- Blocked blood vessels
- Any condition that is affecting your respiratory system
- Tooth decay
Apart from all these, if any swallowed item gets stuck at any specific part of the body or specifically throat, then the medical experts suggest to go for an X-ray to detect the exact location of that item inside the body and take necessary actions as per needs.
How is it done?
The procedure is very well-known and not so complicated. Generally in any radiology department of any hospital, the X-ray technologists perform the test with complete care to make sure everything goes alright. You will be standing in front of a specific kind of plate that will be containing X-ray sensors or films. You will be asked by them to properly position your body by lying or sitting or standing in multiple positions during the time when the test is going on. To be mentioned, you need to stand still while the process is going on for best results because it will help the experts get clearest possible images of your internally injured part. They will keep moving a large camera over your body, which will be connected to a steel-arm to capture x-ray images and this is exactly how it is done. However, you know the test is over only when the radiologist is satisfied with the captured images because distorted images will not help the medical experts diagnose the exact problem that has taken place inside you.
Types of X-ray
It is known to all that X-ray can help to detect so many kinds of problems and the types of X-ray is categorised based on that. A brief evaluation on different types of X-ray is given below for you.
Bone and teeth X ray
- Infections and fractures: X-ray can help to clearly detect the presence of any existing infections and fractures.
- Arthritis: Bone joint issues can be clearly viewed in an X-ray, this is why X-ray can effectively help to determine the presence of arthritis.
- Dental decay: Cavities in the teeth can be detected through an X-ray.
- Bone cancer: X-ray can help to determine the presence of bone tumors as well as bone cancer.
- Osteoporosis: Bone density can also be examined using a special kind of X-ray.
- Lung infections and conditions: Existence of tuberculosis, lung infections including lung cancer can be detected through an X-ray.
- Breast cancer: Mammography is known as one specific kind of X-ray, which is used for determining the presence of breast cancer.
- Enlarged heart: The symptoms of congestive heart failure can be clearly detected through X-ray.
- Blocked blood vessels: Blocked blood vessels can also be detected through an X-ray, however, contrast materials are used in such cases.
- Digestive tract issues: X-ray detects issues in the digestive system. However, you need to consume a specific kind of contrast material before that.
- Swallowed object: If somebody has mistakenly swallowed items like coins or something like that, X-ray can properly locate it inside the body.
What are the side effects of an X-ray?
Although one of the most widely known procedures, X-ray has certain side effects. A certain amount of radiation is used during an X-ray to create images. The radiation that is used in X-ray passes through our body, which may sometimes give birth to so many kinds of issues. The radiation is knowingly safe for adults, but not for babies. This can be considered as the prime reason why pregnant women must have a brief consultation with any doctor or medical expert before appearing for an X-ray. If the doctor suspects that it may cause discomfort for you, the the doctor may suggest any alternative processes like MRI scan. However, it is good to have sound knowledge about the side effects that may occur because of X-ray. Some of the most mentionable side effects of X-ray are mentioned below for you.
- Radiation exposure: Thiis undoubtedly one of the major complications. There are still a certain number of people for whom the process of X-ray is not really safe. As a matter of fact, the sensitivity of the body to the radiation depends on age. This is the reason why it is safer for adults as children are more sensitive to X-ray. To be mentioned once again, inform your doctor before appearing for an X-ray if you are pregnant so that the doctor may suggest any alternative ways to you.
- Contrast medium: It is a known fact that sometimes contrast materials are used for properly detecting or locating the exact seed of issue, which is also used in case of blood vessel blockage. However, there are still a number of people who are allergic to contrast materials and the material may cause certain issues in those people. Soon after the contrast material is injected, many people may face conditions like nausea, hives, itching, a feeling of warmth or a metallic taste. Apart from that, rare conditions like low blood pressure and cardiac arrest are also known for occuring, which can also be considered as some of the major side effects.
How do you prepare for an X-ray?
Although the certified doctors and medical experts will explain to you about the preparations you should take, it is still good to have a bit of knowledge about the mandatory preparations before appearing for an X-ray. A brief on the preparations that everyone should take before the X-ray process starts are mentioned below.
- What to wear: You need to wear a gown but the specific part of the body which need to be examined should stay undressed. Besides, you will be asked to remove any type of metallic objects that you are carrying in the body such as jewelleries or spectacles.
- Contrast material: In case contrast material is required, you will be given contrast mediums like barium and iodine. You may have to swallow the contrast material or it will be injected by a medical expert in your body.
What happens after an X-ray?
Soon after the process is over, you may wear your old clothes and all the jewelleries and other wearable items that you had to put off before appearing for the test. Once all the images are examined and your internal damages or injuries have been located properly, the doctor will advise you to get back to your daily life as there remains no need to spend more hours in the medical sectors. However, you should inform the doctor if you are facing any kind of complications because of the contrast material.
What can you expect before and after an X-ray?
- Before an X ray: A technologist will be positioning your body in a proper manner for the purpose of getting clear images and will be helping you to hold your position by providing pillows or any other support to your body. You will be asked to stay still when the process is going on. The process will be running just for a few minutes, after that you are all allowed to make movements.
- After an X-ray: Soon after the process is over, you can get back to your daily life schedule. However, have a brief consultation with the doctor if you are facing physical complications because of the contrast material.
What does the results mean?
The images captured can be quickly examined on screen by the professionals. The radiologist will be explaining and evaluating the result to you and will be informing if any defect or abnormalities have been detected.
X-ray cost in india
Although the cost may vary depending on the location, however, generally X-ray price starts from 400 Rupees and can be upto 7000 Rupees.