What is an X-Ray?

An x-ray is a widely used test which creates an image of the inside of the body, much like a photograph. It is very quick. It's often the first point of investigation to help the doctor decide if any other forms of imaging or tests are needed. The majority of our X-Ray examinations to not need any special preparation - If you have a letter it will give you all of the information you need which is specific to the test you are having. Please make sure you read the information in your letter carefully before you come to hospital.

Are there any risks?

X-rays are a type of radiation known as ionising radiation. The dose of radiation used is very low and is similar in strength to other sources of natural radiation that people are exposed to every day, without even realising. The radiographer will ensure the dose is kept as low as possible and that the benefits of having the x-ray outweigh any risks. 

Giving your consent

It is your decision to have any examination and you can change your mind at any time.

The radiographer will ask you if you are happy for the examination to go ahead. This is called verbal consent and may only involve the radiographer checking you are booked for the correct examination. If you do not wish to have the examination or are undecided, please tell the radiographer.  Please bear in mind that not having the examination may delay your diagnosis as the doctors may not have all of the information that they need. You can ask the radiographer any questions you have at any time before, during or after your examination. If you would like to read our consent policy, please ask a member of staff. 

What happens during the X-Ray?

There are different types of x-ray. Depending on your x-ray, you may be asked to remove jewellery and/or certain items of clothing. You may even have to get changed into a gown. This will be explained fully when you arrive. The radiographer will ask you to move into different positions on the x-ray table to take the scan. Some people might find it uncomfortable holding the correct position and / or lying on the x-ray table while the scan is carried out, but the procedure itself is painless. 

What happens afterwards? Will I have the results on the same day?

In most cases, you will be allowed to go straight home. The images will be studied by a radiologist and the results will be issued in a few weeks.

Please do not ring the Radiology Department for the results of your x-ray as staff are not allowed to give out the results of your scan.

If your X-Ray was requested by your General Practitioner - ring your GP's enquiry number

If your X-Ray was requested by a hospital Consultant - the results will be discussed at your next out patient appointment. If no further appointment has been arranged, your specalist will write to your GP.

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