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What is an X-ray?

The x-ray has been called one of the most significant advances in all of medical history. It is used in many different ways in medical diagnosis. An x-ray image, or radiograph, is produced when a small amount of x-ray radiation passes through the body and strikes a sheet of sensitive film placed on the other side of the body. The ability of x-rays to penetrate tissues and bones varies according to the tissue’s composition and density.

Bone, which contains calcium, does not let much radiation through and results in white images on the x-ray film. The lungs, which are filled with air, allow nearly all x-rays to strike the film, resulting in a black film image. Other tissues, such as muscle, fat and skin, are intermediate density and result in shades of grey. The resulting image is a “shadow” of the body’s tissues. This “shadow-gram” or radiograph, can be interpreted by a radiologist, who specializes in interpretation of x-ray images.


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Similar to what has occurred in the consumer camera industry, x-ray images can be acquired with digital technology instead of with film. The images are then permanently electronically stored. They can then be easily retrieved and printed on film or viewed on a computer workstation by the radiologist for interpretation. Digital x-ray has certain advantages over conventional film x-ray, including the ability for the x-ray technologist to immediately tell if the image is acceptable. Additionally, the radiologist can electronically manipulate the image for improved detail and accuracy of interpretation. Via Radiology is pleased to be able to provide this advanced technology for our patients.


There is general agreement within the medical community that the small theoretical risks associated with the use of radiation are greatly outweighed by the important diagnostic information x-rays provide. Improved film quality and advances in electronic technology have helped create better images, faster, using lower doses of radiation.


No preparation is required for general X-ray exams.

A Via Radiology radiologist will study the images and provide a written report which includes a description of the findings, any diagnosis that can be made from the exam, as well as a recommendation for further studies if needed. Our reports are usually available within 24 hours of completion of the examination, and are generally received by your physician within two working days. A report may be delayed if we are awaiting studies from an outside facility for comparison purposes. If the results are urgent or if you are seeing your doctor on the same day as your exam, your doctor may request that a preliminary report be phoned or faxed.

For more information, please visit  www.Radiologyinfo.org

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