Having a Digital X-Ray

This information is provided to assist you in preparing for digital X-ray imaging at Riverside Medical Imaging. A digital X-ray is a common, safe and speedy procedure used to obtain images of your body. Depending on what your referrer (GP, Medical Specialist, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Osteopath or Podiatrist) has requested, some of the images may be taken with you standing, sitting or lying down. Although X-rays themselves are painless, in some instances, you may experience some discomfort caused by the position you are required to be placed in during the examination.

Preparation

There is no special preparation for an X-Ray. When you arrive at our clinic, after filling out one page of initial paperwork, you will be taken to the X-ray room and asked to remove relevant clothing and jewelry and to wear the provided examination gown. Naturally, you will be in a curtained, private area while you change. All metal objects, such as keys, clips, buttons, coins and mobile phones, must be removed from the area to be imaged. Some body parts which are sensitive to radiation may be protected with a lead shield. The area to be examined will need to be exposed but the rest of you will be covered. The radiographer (medical imaging technologist) will position you between the X-ray tube and a special detector. You may be required to stand, sit or lie down. The radiographer will ask you to remain still the X-ray is taken (less than a second) and you may also be asked to briefly hold your breath.

At Riverside Medical Imaging we use the latest digital equipment, which means your examination will result in superior quality images, will occur quickly, and will  result in a lower radiation dose than standard X-ray units.

Procedure

How long your examination takes depends on the complexity of the examination and the number of X-rays required. Images are usually taken from different angles to provide the radiologist and your referrer as much information as possible. When you make a booking or drop in to see us, we can give you an indication of how long your appointment will take.

Female patients who are or may be pregnant must advise the radiographer (medical imaging technologist) when they arrive, and before the examination. If you aren’t sure, a different test that doesn’t use X-rays may be recommended. If no substitute test is appropriate, then we may cancel your test until you have ascertained your pregnancy status, as X-rays may be harmful to the unborn child. The risk of harm from a diagnostic digital X-ray scan in an adult is very small, and is balanced against the risks of not performing the scan. X-rays may help achieve an early diagnosis and treatment, and may therefore have significant health benefits.

A university-qualified radiographer who is qualified in conducting the X-ray will perform your tests. Your X-rays will be stored digitally, much like images taken by a digital camera or phone camera. It is becoming more rare to print X-rays, these days, as most referrers prefer to view the images digitally.

Results

After your examination, the radiographer will transmit your test to a radiologist, a medical doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images for the purposes of providing a diagnosis, who will then review the images and provide a formal written report. If medically urgent, or you have an appointment immediately after the scan to be seen by your doctor or health care provider, we can arrange for your study to be reviewed quickly. Otherwise, the report will be received by your doctor or health care provider within the next 24 hours.

  • You should be sure to make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your results.

Points to Remember

  • Please bring with you any prior scans (eg. ultrasounds, MRI, CT, bone scans or X-rays) and any reports as these will assist the radiologist in assessing your condition.
  • If you have any further questions please call Riverside Medical Imaging on (02) 4323 9200 Monday to Friday from 9-5 or drop in 7 days a week to ask us a question. We are only too pleased to assist you.
  • Please note that any referral for an X-ray is valid at Riverside Medical Imaging, even if it has been written on a referral form from another radiology provider.

Whilst every effort is made to keep your appointment time, the special needs of complex cases, elderly and frail patients can cause unexpected delays. Your consideration and patience in these circumstances is appreciated.