Mother, Daughter and Childs Daughter

Women and Newborn Health Service

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King Edward Memorial Hospital

X–ray Procedures

General X-ray Examinations

What Is an X-ray?
What Do I Do Before The Test?
How Are Pictures Taken?
When Do I Get The Results?

What is an X-ray?

An x-ray is a picture taken of the inside of the body by a machine that sends out rays of radiation energy. When these rays pass through skin and muscle they are blocked by the bones, creating shadow effects. These shadows are captured and displayed on a computer screen.

The different parts of the human body have different body tissues and densities, which vary in their absorption of the x-rays. This means bones, soft tissues and other internal features can be seen on the screen in varying shades of grey.

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What Do I Do Before the Test?

Most x-ray examinations do not require any preparation. Articles of clothing may have to be removed if they contain metal or plastic that may show up on the x-ray. You may be asked to change into a gown.

All x-rays require the patient to stay motionless briefly during the x-ray exposure.

The actual examination length ranges from five to fifteen minutes.

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How are the Pictures Taken?

Chest x-ray

A chest x-ray will generally involve taking one or two pictures with the patient usually standing.

Abdominal x-ray

This generally involves taking one or two pictures, one standing and the other lying down.

X-rays of extremities (forearm, elbow, knee, ankle, etc)

This will require pictures of the relevant area in two or more positions, depending on the indications of the problem.

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When Do I Get the Results?

If you are seen in a clinic or are on a ward the images are seen by the referring doctor and a Radiologist. The images are available for viewing on PACS by hospital staff directly after the examination has been performed. If you have been sent here by a doctor working outside of KEMH  the radiologist sends a report back to the doctor.

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