X-rays and other imaging technologies allow the diagnosis of a huge number of conditions that would be much more difficult without the use of X-rays.
Without the invention of X-rays, a guessing game would be played by physicians in differentiating between simple conditions such as a toothache to something more complex such as breast cancers.
The benefits of properly administered diagnostic images are always outweighed against any risks. Physicians utilise this to visualise inside your body without resorting to an invasive incision. These diagnostic images can be performed in any radiation approved department such as in hospitals, dentist offices, or a particular healthcare clinic.
Some x-ray procedures may require some preparation such as drinking a contrast dye, fasting, taking medication or a cannulation.
Conventional radiology is the most common type where a 2-dimensional image is produced, this method is mainly used to visualise bony structure, soft tissue and fluid. The x-ray tube produces the x rays which pass through the patient captured behind the patient by a detector.
CT scans combine traditional X-ray with computer processing to create a cross-sectional 3D image of the body. This allows better visualisation of anatomy in three planes leading to a more accurate diagnosis compared to conventional radiology however CT uses a higher radiation dose to capture their images.
Angiography uses x-rays and a contrast dye to examine arteries, veins, and organs in order to diagnose and treat blockages or other problems within the blood vessels. This procedure requires a thin tube to be inserted into an artery or vein to allow the injection of the contrast agent. This contrast agent appears bright or dark (depending on the type of scan) to help visualise vessels and organs.
This method uses low energy x rays to create detailed images of the breast. A mammogram can be used as a screening tool or for diagnosis. The main use of mammography is for early detection of breast cancer leading to a significant improvement in treatment outcomes. Mammography can also be used after a physical examination relieves a lump in the breast tissue to confirm a diagnosis
Fluoroscopy uses x-rays to obtain real time moving images of internal structures in the patient’s body. During the live screening of the patient an injection of contrast can be used to follow the visualisation from a beating heart or the blood flow from the head to toe.