X-ray is a light form of radiation that is used to see the internal parts of a human body. A radiologist performs the x-ray with the patient standing, lying or seated between the image panel and the X-ray machine. For some uses like gastrointestinal, the radiologist may administer to you a contrast solution like contrast dye. This helps the rays to penetrate well, for better clear images. Sometimes, the doctor may suggest that you firs take medications to clear your bowels before the session. Alternatively, when x-ray is used for musculoskeletal purposes, the radiologist may suggest that you put on light fabric like a hospital robe. Although x-rays have little and rare side effects, they are outweighed by their uses. This article gives an analysis of how x-rays are implemented.
- Foreign Objects
If a person has been involved in an accident, sometimes they may have sharp objects such as metals, sticks or glass pieces lodged inside their bodies. X-ray plays an important role to locate such objects. Since the foreign elements are different from bones that have calcium, they appear as white objects on the x-ray film. After they have been located, then the doctor can recommend the necessary process of removing the objects. It is also used to detect and locate foreign objects such as coins and pebbles stuck in the throat when kids swallow them. Without an x-ray, it would be hard to find such things.
- Cardiology Uses
The use of x-ray has extended to cardiology departments to check for circulation issues. Such circulation issues include enlarged heart, ruptured blood vessels, asthma, pneumonia and infections affecting the lungs. Conditions like pneumonia appear as gray droplets on the black images of the lungs on the x-ray image film. Most of the conditions affecting the lungs can go undetected for years. However, thanks to X-ray, it is possible to detect them before they cause so much damage to the lungs. It is only then that the cardiologist can commit you to the necessary treatment. Similar to tumors, the earlier these infections are detected, the more effectively they are going to be treated, failure to which, serious effects can be experienced.
- Oncological Uses
Tumors and their effects take so long before they can manifest. They can remain undetected, in the body for years, until it is too late when their effects are deadly. Some tumors such as in the bones can sometimes be detected on x-ray. Most of these, such as cancer, if detected early, can be treated before their effects go out of hand. They appear like white debris on the x-ray film. Upon the sight of these tumors, the radiologist immediately recommends you to an oncologist, who then commits you to chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
- Musculoskeletal Implementation
Since its introduction, x-ray’s main use has been in the orthopedics to detect fractures, broken bones, torn and inflamed muscles. It is a common practice for people with muscle or bone issues to be committed to X-ray to check for underlying issues. Broken bones appear as dark fragments on the x-ray film, while torn or inflamed muscles appear as dark debris. It is only after the x-ray session, that the orthopedic can tell the problem with your muscles or bones and recommend the necessary treatment to tackle it.
- Dental Uses
X-ray is used in the dental department to detect broken teeth or tooth decay. It is used in cases where the dentist cannot see the dental structure using the naked eye. They are also used to check for clear alignment during dental implant procedures. Since teeth are bones, they are rich in calcium, which allows for denser x-rays, hence producing white features on the film.
- Gastrointestinal Uses
Some gastrointestinal issues like gallstones and intestinal and stomach infections can be detected using x-rays. Gallstones also appear like white pebbles on the x-ray image film. Before a radiologist commits you to an x-ray session, you should carry your health history so that the doctor can be aware of any underlying issues like an implant, pregnancy or too many past x-ray sessions. This information is critical for the doctor to determine if x-ray is the best imaging modality to be used. If you have a condition that you are still not yet sure can be checked using x-ray, consider reaching out to your doctor.