Digital X-ray – Revolutionizing Traditional X-ray Images
X-ray imaging has been a standard tool in medical diagnosis for over 100 years. Just as the discovery of a mysterious ray (or X- ray) in 1885 marked a quantum leap in medical diagnosis, digital X-ray imaging represents a major breakthrough in modern medical practice. Digital X-ray images are readable within 10 seconds from the beginning of the scan and can be sent to any computer in the world immediately after they are produced.
At Optima Diagnostic Imaging we offer referring physicians and patients the most advanced digital x-ray services Los Angeles has available. Digital X-ray images can be enhanced, filtered, modified, cropped and otherwise edited just as any other digital photograph. The images produced have superior clarity and contrast not possible with film X-ray images.
Because digital X-ray images are seen immediately, patients no longer have to wait until the film has been developed to see if the image is clear enough for diagnosis. Another advantage is that in most cases, overexposed or underexposed images can be digitally corrected which eliminates the need for the patients to repeat the scan. This decreases overall exposure to radiation.
X-Ray: Still First Line of Screening
X-ray imaging is used to detect a number of conditions including:
- Bone tumors
- Lung Cancer
- Heart failure
- Enlarged Heart
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Infections and Inflammation
- Blocked Blood Vessels
- Kidney Stone
- Digestive Tract Problems
- Swallowed Object Detection
X-rays emit very little radiation, are painless and take very little time. This first line of screening allows doctors to determine if more testing is needed without exposing patients to the stress of more intensive imaging such as MRI or CT scans.
Versatile Digital X-Ray Imaging
Disease progression can be monitored with X-ray imaging. The clarity provided by digital X-ray allows physicians to more precisely track conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis. Monitoring the progress of cancer treatment and the effect it is having on tumors is also done by periodic X-ray scans.
Chest X-rays can be done before surgery so that structures in the chest can be identified and assessed. They can also monitor whether or not a prescribed treatment is being effective, as in the treatment of COPD.
In some cases a chest X-ray is needed for employment to rule out tuberculosis. This is usually ordered when there has been a positive reaction to a tuberculosis skin test.
Using X-ray with Contrast Medium
Certain types of conditions require the use of a contrasting substance to provide definition in areas that are composed of soft tissue. Conditions of the intestines and blood vessels often require the use of a contrast medium such as barium or iodine at the time the X-ray is done. These materials produce a clearer image and more definition for the X-ray technician. Los Angeles area patients and referring physicians depend on contrast medium X-rays to diagnose symptoms such as a change in bowel habits, chronic diarrhea and abdominal pain, as well as suspected arterial blockage.
Digital X-ray is one of the many forms of diagnostic imaging available at Optima Diagnostic Imaging. Our facility is proud to be fully accredited by the American College of Radiology, which oversees strict standards of practice in the field. Our world class physicians and attentive staff are focused on delivering among the best X-ray services Los Angeles has available.
What Are the Risks Associated with X-Rays?
Radiation exposure, while minimal, is one of the risks of X-rays. Particularly if you are pregnant, the radiation can be dangerous to the fetus in early development. Otherwise, the potential discoveries and valuable information gathered by an X-ray far outweigh the risks.
Do I Have to Undress for an X-Ray?
You should wear loose-fitting clothes and be prepared to remove items such as:
- Clothing containing buttons or thick embroidery
- Clothing with metal embellishments
- Eyeglasses, jewelry, or other metal accessories
Can I Eat and Drink Before my X-Ray?
You may need to fast for a short period of time if the X-ray is for your midsection. During a fast you should only take any necessary medications with a small amount of water. Otherwise, there is no significant changes to diet or medications.
How Long Will my X-Ray Take?
Your X-ray will likely take 15 minutes or less, from start to finish. Your examination will vary based on the number of areas to be analyzed. Allow for extra time for an analysis of the X-rays with your doctor following the procedure.
When Can I See the Results of my X-Ray?
Digital X-rays are available right away for viewing and analysis. You may need to wait a few minutes for any image correction or closer analysis by the doctor, but the results will likely be presented during the same visit.
When is an X-Ray Used Over Other Imaging Methods?
X-rays are ideal for assessing injuries with minimal radiation exposure. They are performed quickly and provide a cost-effective way to get an accurate look at internal structures before opting for treatment or another form of imaging that involves radiation and a substance added to your blood for higher definition. All of these tests are extremely valuable, and X-rays play an important role in the field of diagnostic testing.