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4 different types of X-rays

July 21, 2020 | 1 Comment

An important form of imaging technology, X-rays have been the amongst the pioneer radiology tests. Also known as radiography, X-rays play a pivotal role in the process of diagnostics.

X-rays involves using radiation to capture the image. Different structures have different abilities to absorb the radiation, and this is the fundamental principle driving the technology. Bones absorb greater radiation, and thus appear brighter on the film, whereas the tissue appears light as does not absorb significant rays. This contrasting image thus makes it possible for the doctors to view the internal structures of the body.

X-rays are non-invasive and painless. However, they do entail dangerous albeit necessary exposure to radiations. This makes this test unsuitable for many people, like pregnant women. Hence, for anyone thinking of getting an X-ray in Lahore, be sure to disclose any medical history to the radiologist before the test.

Moreover, prior to the test, certain other protocols also need to be followed. People should take off any metallic accessory on their body. They should also dress in loose and comfortable clothing for the exam.

Radiography is used to capture images from various different parts of the body. The main types of x-rays performed include:

1 Abdominal X-ray:

Located in the abdominal region are some of the important organs like stomach, liver, spleen, intestines, kidneys, uterus etc. There are various ailments of this region that merit an x-ray for diagnosis. The most common conditions that are diagnosed using abdominal x-rays include: kidney or gallstones, any blockage of the GI tract, injury to any region, presence of a foreign body like bullets etc.

Prior to the exam, patients should follow the standard protocols. Women wearing IUD should let their doctors know. Patient should empty their bladders before the exam. This x-ray is considered safe for pregnant women as well.

2 Bones X-ray:

A rather common type of x-ray is conducted for the bones. It is used to locate fractures, or any other injuries to the skeletal system, like dislocation of the joints etc. It is also used to guide orthopedic surgeries as well.

Moreover, x-rays are used in the diagnosis of diseases like bone cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis as well. It doesn’t not need any special preparation, other than following in on the standard x-ray protocols.

3 Chest X-ray:

These types of x-rays are used by doctors when they fear diseases of the lungs or the heart. It is recommended when patients complain of breathing problems like shortness of breath, coughing, tightness or pain in the chest etc. Patients who have sustained chest injuries also have to undergo this test to assess damage.

The common ailments diagnosed by chest x-rays include pneumonia, COPD, emphysema, presence of fluid in the lungs, rib fracture, lung cancer, heart failure, changes in the lungs caused due to viral disease like COVID-19 etc.

4 Barium X-ray:

These x-rays are used to diagnose ailments of the gastrointestinal tract. They need a contrast material to produce a discernible image, and hence have been name barium x-rays. There are 3 different types of barium x-rays; upper GI or barium swallow, lower GI or barium enema and barium small-bowel follow through.

Upper GI is used to observe stomach and esophagus, for which the patient has to drink barium. This test is done to disclose any cancers of this region alongside ulcers, hernias, inflammation, blockages and other swallowing problems.

In lower GI, barium is administered via rectum. Patients have to undergo special preparations like; using laxatives to ensure the bowels are clean, no eating or drinking prior to the procedure, in-taking just liquids before the procedure to ensure complete cleanse. This is useful for diagnosis of the large intestine and rectal diseases like cancers, polyps etc.

Similarly, barium small-bowel follow through is used to find the problems of the small-intestines, like ulcers, tumors etc. Patients are asked to take laxatives etc. before the test to clean the intestine, whereas barium is taken orally.

Since contrast material is imperative in this procedure, the patient getting this X-ray in Karachi should inform the radiologist of any allergic reaction to it.

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