Probably the most common diagnostic imaging tool available, an X-ray is a simple, painless procedure that is available throughout BayCare Health System.
An X-ray is performed by focusing low levels of radiation into a beam that passes through the body, strikes a photographic film, and produces a picture. Extremity X-rays of the hand, arm, wrist, foot, ankle or head, for example, can be performed for a variety of reasons:
- To determine the cause of pain
- To evaluate a fractured or dislocated bone
- To evaluate an injury or damage caused by a condition such as arthritis or osteoporosis
Another Unique View: Fluoroscopy
Fluoroscopy is a procedure that combines X-ray imaging with a fluorescent screen, an image intensifier, and a TV-like camera and monitor to provide real time, “live” images. It is particularly helpful in diagnosing problems of the digestive tract, kidneys and gallbladder. A contrast agent such as barium is often used to highlight the area and enable the physician to see the movement of the intestines as the barium moves through them. Fluoroscopy is also used in cardiac catheterization to study the flow of blood through the coronary arteries and to help in the insertion of a catheter into a specific location inside the body.
How do I prepare for the exam?
- Notify a BayCare Imaging Professional if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
- If available, please bring previous imaging study results (MRI, CT scan, X-rays, etc.), such as reports, films or CD’s.
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to verify your registration information.
What should I expect during the exam?
- Conventional radiography (X-Ray) is a simple, painless procedure that enables the radiologist to analyze the bony and soft tissue anatomy for diagnosis. The average X-ray study takes 15-20 minutes.
- Tomography is a series of X-rays that focuses on a specific level with the body. Tomographic examinations show precise and detailed images of selected tissues, organs or bony structures. The exam typically takes approximately 40 minutes, and no injections or contrast materials are usually required.
- Fluoroscopy uses a fluoroscope, which is an instrument consisting of an X-ray machine and a fluorescent screen to view the internal organs of the body. It is especially helpful during diagnostic injections and pain management procedures, as well as diagnosing problems of the digestive tract, kidneys and gallbladder. A fluoroscopy exam usually lasts 30-40 minutes. A contrast agent is sometimes needed to amplify the area of interest.
What happens after the exam?
- A radiologist who specializes in the specific area of the body that was examined will review your images (i.e., a musculoskeletal radiologist will review X-rays of your leg).
- The radiologist prepares a diagnostic report to share with your doctor.
- Your doctor will consider this information in context of your overall care and talk with you about the results.
To make an appointment, please call:
Hillsborough County: (813) 635-3610
Pinellas/Pasco Counties: (727) 461-8555