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An X-ray is a safe and quick procedure to produce images of the inside of your body.
X-rays are one of the most effective ways to examine bones. They can identify abnormalities and damage to bones in any area of your body. X-rays can also be used to look at your soft tissues, for example, your lungs, heart or breasts.
An X-ray is usually performed by a radiographer, who is specially trained to carry out this and other imaging techniques. Other healthcare professionals perform X-rays too, for example, dentists frequently use them to examine teeth.
The picture produced by an X-ray shows your bones in white, while softer areas such as your organs will appear darker.
The radiation used during X-rays is very small and you will be exposed for less than a second.
An X-ray is one of the most common diagnostic tests used in medicine. Here at Circle Health Group we perform thousands of X-rays each year in our onsite imaging departments, which are run by dedicated and specially trained teams.
Other tests our radiographers commonly perform include computerised tomography (CT) scanning and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning.
It will depend on various factors including which part of your body is being scanned and how many images your radiographer needs to produce.
Before you have an X-ray, we will let you know exactly how much it will cost and how to pay.
If you have private health insurance, an X-ray will usually be covered by your policy. We work with all major providers.
The rays pass through you in different ways depending on which part of your body they go through. When the detector picks them up on the other side, it can tell how soft or dense the parts of your body are based on how the rays have reacted.
The X-ray system then translates this information into a picture, with denser areas (such as bone) in white and softer areas (for example your heart or lungs) shown as darker areas.
An X-ray is one of the best ways of examining your bones and joints. They can be used to check everything from congenital abnormalities to osteoporosis to fractures and breaks.
You might have your teeth and jaw X-rayed to identify a variety of issues including loose teeth, problem wisdom teeth or dental abscesses.
An X-ray can be used to look inside your chest and see how well your heart and lungs are functioning. You might be recommended this if you are having symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pains.
This can be used to look for abnormalities and tumours in your breasts and can identify conditions including breast cancer.
Sometimes you will be given something called a contrast agent before you have your X-ray, which can make your soft tissues show more clearly in the images produced.
They will also ask you a few questions to check that it's safe for you to have an X-ray. For example, you won't usually be able to have the scan if you are pregnant.
During the scan, we will ask you to lie on a table or stand against a flat surface so that the part of your body being examined is between the two main elements of the X-ray system (the machine emitting the rays and the part that creates the images).
The X-ray will then scan you, during which time you'll need to stay as still as possible so that the images are as accurate as possible. The radiographer will be behind a screen or in the next room, and you'll be able to talk to them at all times.
Depending on what type of X-ray you are having and why the process can take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour.
The results will then be sent to a consultant radiologist who will interpret the findings and report back to your consultant.
There are no side effects after an X-ray, though some people who are given contrast agents will have a mild reaction to them (normally a bit of an upset tummy).
If you think you may need an X-ray and you aren't speaking to one of our consultants yet, book an initial consultation using our online booking portal. If you need an X-ray, they will arrange it for you.
If you have private medical insurance, speak to your insurer about how to get a referral to one of our hospitals. We work with all major health insurance providers.
If you are paying for your own treatment and would like to spread the cost to make it more affordable, we work with Chrysalis Finance to offer loans that can be paid back over a period of one to five years.
If you think you might need an X-ray and want to talk to a consultant about this, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.