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 Radiography (X-Rays)

 
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An X-ray (radiograph) is a non-invasive medical test that helps your health care provider diagnose medical conditions.  Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. 
They are performed by Medical Radiation Technologists and reported by specially trained doctors called radiologists.

Please tell your health care provider and the technologist if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant.

Contact Information

No appointment is required for plain x-rays such as chest x-rays.
Appointments are required for the following:

  • Barium or Gastrics Studies
  • Cystograms
  • Arthrograms
  • Lumbar Punctures
  • Myelograms
  • Steroid Injections

To book or follow up on the status of your appointment, please contact:

Mississauga Hospital or Queensway Health Centre
Phone: 416-521-4069
Fax: 416-521-4014

Credit Valley Hospital
Phone: 905-813-2731
Fax: 905-813-4418

Resources for Patients & Their Families

How to Prepare for Your Procedure

Cystogram
Please allow a minimum of 1 to 1 ½ hours for your appointment.
No preparation is required.

Esophagus, Stomach & Duodenum G.I. Series
Please allow a minimum of 1 hour for your appointment.
Do not eat or drink after 10:00 p.m. the night before your examination.

IVP (Intravenous Pyelogram)
Please allow a minimum of 1 hour for your appointment.
Clear fluid breakfast if morning appointment. Regular breakfast and clear fluid lunch if afternoon appointment.

Small Bowel Follow Through
Please allow a minimum of 1-3 hours for your appointment.
Do not eat or drink after 10:00 p.m. the night before your examination.

CVH Colon Preparation Diagnostic Imaging
Two days before examination:

  1. Eat light meals for breakfast and lunch. Drink extra water. Begin clear fluid diet at supper (6:00 p.m.) and continue during the evening – water, apple juice, white grape juice, clear energy drinks like Gatorade, black coffee or tea (no milk), pop or clear soup, plain jello. Avoid milk products or anything else that you can't see through.
  2. At pharmacy or drugstore purchse one package of Pico-Salex laxative and also a small package of Dulcolax (bisacodyl) tablets, 5 mgm each. The Pico-Salex contains two sachets of powder inside. Please read enclosed package insert for preparation of the laxative or see below.

One day before examination:

  1. Drink plenty of clear fluids all day water, apple juice, white grape juice, clear energy drinks like Gatorade, black coffee or tea (no milk), pop or clear soup, plain jello. Avoid milk products or anything else that you can't see through.
  2. At about 1:00 p.m. take 4 tablets of Dulcolax (bisacodyl). Drink lots of clear liquids.
  3. At about 4:00 p.m. take first packet of Pico-Salex (prepare as directed – see below).
  4. It is important to drink a large glass (250 ml/8 oz.) of water or clear liquid every hour while this medicine is working.
  5. At about 8:00 p.m. take the second packet of Pico-Salex (prepare as directed – see below)
  6. Continue to drink fluids until bedtime – one large glass (250 ml/8 oz.)of water or clear liquid every hour until bedtime.
  7. Day of the test have a small glass of water in the morning before the test.
  8. Note: Continue to take medication prescribed by your doctor. If you have significant kidney or heart problems or other concerns, consult your doctor before taking the preparation.
  9. You will have a strong urge to have a bowel movement after the Pico-Salex so stay close to a toilet.
  10. Preparation of Pico-Salex:
    1. Empty the contents of the packet into a mug or coffee cup.
    2. Add 150 ml (5 oz.) of cold water
    3. Stir frequently for 2 – 3 minutes to dissolve all the laxative
    4. If the mixture heats up, let it cool before you drink it
Continue to stir while it cools empty the contents of the packet into a mug or coffee cup. add 150 ml (5 oz.) of cold water

What to Expect from Your Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam.
  • You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.
  • Women should always let their doctor or x-ray technologist know if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.

During the Exam

  • An x-ray examination itself is a painless procedure. You may experience discomfort from the cool temperature in the examination room and the coldness of the recording plate. The technologist will assist you in finding the most comfortable position possible that still ensures diagnostic image quality.
  • Depending on the area to be examined you may be asked to lie on an examination table, sit on a stool or stand.
  • The technologist, an individual specially trained to perform radiology examinations, will position the patient to best demonstrate the area to be examined.
  • You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.

The technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine.


How It Works

X-rays are a form of radiation like light or radio waves. X-rays pass through most objects, including the body. Once it is carefully aimed at the part of the body being examined, an x-ray machine produces a small burst of radiation that passes through the body, recording an image on photographic film or a special digital image recording plate.

Different parts of the body absorb the x-rays in varying degrees. Dense bone absorbs much of the radiation while soft tissue, such as muscle, fat and organs, allow more of the x-rays to pass through them. As a result, bones appear white on the x-ray, soft tissue shows up in shades of gray and air appears black.

For example, on a chest x-ray, the ribs and spine will absorb much of the radiation and appear white or light gray on the image. Lung tissue absorbs little radiation and will appear dark on the image.

Until recently, x-ray images were maintained as hard film copy (much like a photographic negative). Today, most images are digital files that are stored electronically. These stored images are easily accessible and are sometimes compared to current x-ray images for diagnosis and disease management.


What to Expect After Your Procedure

When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.

Radiography (X-Rays)

The examination is usually completed within 15 - 30 minutes