X-ray examination – Process, benefits and alternatives
X-ray examination - what is involved?
In many areas of medicine, X-ray is the fastest, most reliable and proven method of detecting injuries or diseases. During an X-ray examination, X-rays which are generated by an X-ray tube are sent through the body. These rays are then captured on the other side by means of X-ray film or digital storage media.
While bones and other tissue with a very high calcium content (such as gall or kidney stones) absorb a large part of the radiation and they become very visible in the X-ray images, soft tissue and hollow organs are very radiolucent and thus they are less visible. In order to improve clarity, a contrast-enhancing agent (contrast agent) is used in certain cases.
X-ray examination – when?
X-ray diagnostics are particularly well suited for representing the bony skeleton (i.e. detecting bone fractures or malpositions), but also showing lung diseases (such as inflammations, tumours or fluid accumulations). To this day, mammography, the X-ray imaging of the mammary glands, is the method of first choice for the early detection of breast cancer. However, vessels (arteries, veins, lymphatic vessels), hollow organs (gastro-intestinal tract, kidneys, efferent urinary tract, gallbladder and biliary tract, tract systems), artificial cavities in the body (such as fistulas or abscesses) as well as organs and soft tissue can also be made visible and assessed in computed tomography using X-ray contrast agents.
X-ray examination – how?
During the X-ray examination, the body is exposed to a higher level of X-ray radiation than in everyday life, i.e. earth radiation or radiation from television sets, for a short period of time. Modern X-ray machines with short exposure times keep the radiation exposure extremely low. Particularly radiosensitive organs (such as the genitals) are shielded with lead aprons or screens to keep the radiation dose for the organs as low as possible. If a contrast agent is used for the examination, it is either injected into the bloodstream via a visible vein or artery by means of catheter or injection, or it enters the gastro-intestinal tract through drinking, depending on the case.
X-ray examination – are there alternatives?
If you are pregnant or if a pregnancy cannot be excluded with certainty, the examining doctors will decide not to carry out an X-ray examination in most cases. In any case, a precise risk-benefit analysis will be carried out before you are exposed to radiation. Where appropriate, other potential examination methods will be used.
X-ray examination – why at the Wiener Privatklinik?
The Wiener Privatklinik not only offers you some of Vienna’s best medical specialists, but also specialists and the necessary technical diagnostic equipment for all examinations, which may be required if a disease is suspected as a result of the X-ray examination. It also offers the best specialists for the immediate treatment of such diseases. Early detection and timely treatment at the highest level are the best guarantee for a long, pain-free life.
You can obtain more detailed information on the X-ray examination from our telephone info-line or by email. All contact details can be found on our Contact page.