X-Ray

What is X-Ray and how does it work?

X-ray is part of the electromagnetic spectrum along with visible light, radio waves and microwaves. Image creation is achieved due to X-ray’s characteristic high energy level allowing it to pass through the body and to be absorbed with varying degrees by different structures present.

Body tissues, organs and bone absorb different amounts of the X-ray beam. Bone is a dense and absorbs most of the beam appearing white, whereas fat, muscle and soft tissues allow some of the X-ray to pass through them appearing grey in colour.

Depending on the type of X-ray you require will determine the position the radiographer may ask you to take for example sitting, standing or lying and whether you need to change into a gown. It is important to remain still while the images are being taken. In some cases you will be asked to hold your breath. The procedures duration depends on the request but generally speaking it won’t take longer than 15 minutes.

How safe is X-ray?

The x-ray procedure is painless and you shouldn’t feel any different after the test.
As with any ionising radiation there is a slight risk of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation. The benefit of an accurate medical diagnosis far outweighs this risk. Furthermore medical research has been unable to conclusively attribute medical ionising radiation with any significant effects.

Harbour Radiology employs the latest techniques, equipment and staff training to ensure the radiation dose is kept to a minimum.

How should I prepare for my X-ray?

No special preparation is required for an X-ray. We ask that you leave excess jewellery at home and please bring a doctors referral form with you.
If you are pregnant you must inform the radiographer as an alternative scan may be required.