What is an x-ray?
An x-ray photo uses x-rays to take a picture of the inside of your body.
They are widely used by doctors and are particularly useful for finding broken bones and chest problems.
Is it safe?
The effective radiation dose from this procedure ranges from approximately 0.01 to 1.5 mSv, this is less than you receive in backgroun radiation in six months.
You should always inform the technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant. X-rays are generally not recommended for pregnant women unless medically necessary because of potential risk to the baby.
Is there any preparation?
This depends on the type of examination. You will be given full instructions when you book your appointment.
What will happen to me?
X-rays are painless and do not take too long.
For most x-rays, the radiographer will ask you to change into a gown. This will allow easier positioning for the test, and get rid of metalware such as zippers and jewellery which can otherwise appear on the images and perhaps obscure something important.
All x-ray machines are slightly different, but basically the radiographer will position the part that is being examined on a special x-ray bed (or upright stand) and line up the x-ray tube to take the picture. Usually there is more than one projection taken, e.g., two views for a chest, three views for a joint, but occasionally more pictures will need to be taken, particularly for some specialist orthopaedic views.
The radiographer will check the images, and if they are happy with them they will send them to the radiologist for reporting. You can get changed and resume your normal activities. Your referring doctor will get the report, although urgent reports that you can take away are always available.
Where can I get an x-ray?
What does it cost?
Our prices page has a downloadable price list. Costs vary depending on exactly what is involved in the procedure. Please phone our Call Centre (04 978 5500) for more information.