Digital Radiography (X-ray)

X-ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of imaging to see inside the human body. It uses a focused beam and a special detector to obtain images of body anatomy. It is also a safe and generally non-invasive procedure.

X-rays are absorbed by different body tissues in varying degrees. Dense tissue, like bone, absorbs most X-rays and appears white on the image. Less dense tissues appear in shades of gray. X-rays that pass through air, like in the lungs and colon, aren’t absorbed at all and appear black on the image.

The X-ray is used for a variety of reasons when images of internal body structures are needed.

Preparation

For most X-rays, no special preparation is required, however the following tests also use X-ray and do require you to follow the preparation instructions prior to your test:

  • An Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) is an X-ray of the kidneys, ureters and bladder taken after a dye is injected into a vein.
    Special instructions:
    • Drink four 8-ounce glasses of water between 1:00 pm and 10:00 pm the day BEFORE your exam.
    • On the day of your exam, you may have coffee, water or juice until 3 hours prior to exam.
    • You may also take medication with water, as prescribed by your physician.
  • A Barium Enema is a special X-ray of the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum. During this procedure, barium sulfate is injected into the colon.
    Special instructions:
    • DAY BEFORE EXAM: Clear liquids at noon and supper meals. Eat no solid food. Drink six 8-ounce glasses of water between 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm. At 5:00 pm drink one bottle of Citrate of Magnesia (10 ounces) At 8:00 pm take two Biscodyl (Dulcolax) pills.
    • DAY OF EXAM: Insert one Biscodyl (Dulcolax) rectal suppository upon arising. No solid food. You may have coffee, water or juice until one hour prior to the exam.
  • An Upper GI Series is a series of X-rays of the esophagus. The X-rays are taken after the patient drinks a barium solution.
    Special instructions:
    • DAY BEFORE EXAM: Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

If you are pregnant, please tell our patient representative.

View the full list of our services.



Copyright 2011 The Outpatient Diagnostic Center. All Rights Reserved.