Diagnostic X-Ray or X-rays
Scheduling and Directions
DeKalb Medical offers diagnostic X-rays in Atlanta using special machines and film to view certain organs and tissues. Diagnostic X-rays are a form of high-energy radiation which tissues of the body can absorb to varying degrees. For example, dense structures such as bones absorb less X-rays than soft tissue. After passing through the body, the X-rays are directed onto a special film where the dense tissue such as bone appears as a white shadow in contrast with the soft tissue which produces a darker image on the film. Diagnostic X-rays produce a single image.
Fluoroscopy is one of the oldest areas of diagnostic radiology. It is similar to diagnostic X-rays because a small dose of radiation is directed through a body part but the image obtained is displayed on a monitor rather than on a digital image. The fluoroscope provides images of internal body parts as they move, similar to a movie. A continuous X-ray beam is passed through the body part being examined and transmitted to an image-intensifying tube, a TV-like monitor that allows the body part and its motion to be seen in detail.
During fluoroscopy, the patient is placed between the X-ray source and the monitor. The live images generated by the X-ray source strike the image-intensifying tube and allow doctors to see the size, shape and structure of a patient's internal structures. Most fluoroscopy devices include television or video cameras attached to the image-intensifier tube. The camera output can be digitized and sent through a computer for image enhancement.
In fluoroscopic studies, the radiologist can use a contrast agent to visualize the organ or area of interest. The contrast agent allows the image to be viewed more clearly. Contrast agents may be introduced into the patient's body by injection, swallowing or an enema. Fluoroscopic exams include these tests: barium swallow, barium enema and upper gastrointestinal study.
A radiologist who is specially trained in reviewing your images will promptly analyze your images and provide a report to your physician about the findings of your diagnostic X-ray in Atlanta at DeKalb Medical. Your physician will share the results with you.
Preparing for Your Diagnostic X-ray
Traditional diagnostic X-rays require little, if any, preparation. Let your physician know of any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications such as Pepto Bismol and if you have had any other radiology exams recently.
Because some clothing and metal objects in clothing can show up and block a portion of your X-ray, you will be asked to wear a hospital gown, depending on the part of your body to be X-rayed.
You will be asked to hold your breath and be very still while the image is being taken, and you may be asked to stay still in an awkward position for a few minutes.
You should tell your physician and the technologist if you think you may be pregnant.
Some diagnostic X-rays require an injection of contrast material or a special dye. The amount of time your procedure will take depends upon the type of procedure. Times will vary according to the type of procedure you are having. For example, most diagnostic X-rays last 5 to 15 minutes while a small bowel procedure can last several hours.
After Your Diagnostic X-ray
When your procedure is complete, you may be asked to wait while the technologist checks the images to be sure they are accurate. You may resume your normal daily activities immediately following your diagnostic X-rays in Atlanta at DeKalb Medical.
A radiologist who is specially trained in reviewing your images will promptly analyze your images and provide a report to your physician about the findings of your diagnostic X-rays. Your physician will share the results with you.
Scheduling and Directions
Your physician may contact DeKalb Medical to schedule your diagnostic X-ray or fluoroscopy test for you or you may be asked to schedule your own procedure. If you need to schedule your own procedure, call 404.501.2660. For some X-rays, you may walk into the facility with your physician’s orders for the test without an appointment.
If your X-ray will be performed at the Diagnostic Imaging Center at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur,
- From North Decatur Road, enter the hospital campus via Wash Lively Road.
- The Diagnostic Imaging Center is on the left.
- Parking is on the left in front of the center and is free for all Imaging Center patients.
If your X-ray is being performed at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, go to the hospital’s registration area.
- Park in the hospital parking lot.
- Proceed to the main entrance of the hospital.
- Registration is directly on the right – you must register before proceeding to the Imaging Department.
- When you have completed registration, a staff member will direct you to the Imaging Department for your X-ray.