X-rays are basically the same thing as visible light rays. X-rays are a wonderful addition to the world of medicine; they let doctors peer inside a patient without any surgery at all. It's much easier and safer to look at a broken bone using X-rays than it is to open a patient up.
You've probably had an X-ray examination of some part of your body. Health care professionals use them to look for broken bones, problems in your lungs and abdomen, cavities in your teeth and many other problems.
X-ray technology uses electromagnetic radiation to make images. The image is recorded on a computer. The parts of your body appear light or dark due to the different rates that your tissues absorb the X-rays. Calcium in bones absorbs X-rays the most, so bones look white on the radiograph. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less, and look gray. Air absorbs least, so lungs look black.
A camera on the other side of the patient, records the pattern of X-ray light that passes all the way through the patient's body.
X-ray examination is painless, fast and easy. The amount of radiation exposure you receive during an X-ray examination is small.
An advanced trained Radiology Technologist will be performing your x-rays.
This is different from the Radiologist who will interpret the images.
Please visit ImageDex for more information regarding preps and what to expect.
Radiation (X-Rays) and You
The very first X-ray device was discovered accidentally by the German scientist Wilhelm Röntgen (1845-1923) in 1895. He found that a cathode-ray tube emitted certain invisible rays that could penetrate paper and wood and, the first person in the world to see through human flesh, even saw a perfectly clear outline of the bones in his own hand.
Röntgen studied these new rays--which he called X rays--for several weeks before publishing his findings in December of 1895. For his great discovery, he was given the honorary title of Doctor of Medicine and awarded the 1901 Nobel Prize for physics. Adamant his discovery was free for the benefit of humankind, Röntgen refused to patent it.
Modern medical x-ray machines are grouped into two categories: "hard" or "soft" x rays.
Soft x rays, which operate at a relatively low frequency, are used to image bones and internal organs and, unless repeated excessively, cause little tissue damage. These are the x-rays used at Mercy Medical Center.
Hard X rays, very high frequencies designed to destroy molecules within specific cells thus destroying tissue, are used in radiotherapy, particularly in the treatment of cancer.
A familiar use for x rays is the security scanner for examining baggage at airports and at your dentist’s office.
Mercy Medical Center is committed to providing quality imaging exams. The technologists that perform your exams have advanced training in protocols and are nationally registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
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