Diagnostic X-ray

X-rays help diagnose many diseases and conditions, and we are proud to offer these services around the clock for our patients. If you need an x-ray, we are happy to take care of you right away.

Offered at: Johnston Health, Johnston Health Ambulatory Imaging (no fluoroscopy), and Johnston Health Clayton Ambulatory Imaging

What is an X-ray?

An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. An x-ray machine produces a small burst of radiation that passes through the body, recording an image on photographic film or a special detector. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.

X-rays are used to diagnose a variety of conditions such as broken bones, fractures, pneumonia and arthritis.

Diagnostic contrast procedures use a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material called barium to produce real-time images on a video monitor so your physician may see your internal organs in motion. Fluoroscopy uses a pulsed x-ray beam to create a sequence of images, and the contrast agent is used to make the area being examined darker, so better images will appear.

What to Expect

When you have an x-ray, you will be positioned so that the x-ray machine and film can correctly capture the part of the body being examined. You will not feel anything, but you may be asked to hold your breath or stay in a specific position so the best possible image can be captured.

You may be asked to change into a hospital gown during the examination. Jewelry, dental hardware and eyeglasses will need to be removed. The exam will last about 15 minutes.

How to Prepare

An x-ray is a simple procedure and usually does not require preparation. If you will be using a contrast agent for fluoroscopy, please inform your doctor if you are allergic to barium as a different contrast agent will need to be used.

Please click below for complete preparation instructions, and be sure to follow any individual instructions from your physician.