Malibu Medical Group

Internal Medicine & Addiction Medicine located in Malibu, CA

X-rays are common diagnostic imaging tests that help diagnose illnesses and injuries. If you experience symptoms of broken bones, digestive tract problems, or pneumonia, you might require an X-ray. The experienced internal medicine providers at Malibu Medical Group in Malibu, California, let you know for sure after reviewing your medical history and completing a physical exam. Schedule an appointment by phone or online with Malibu Medical Group today.

X-Rays Q & A

What is an X-ray?

An X-ray is a type of radiation that uses electromagnetic waves to create images of the inside of your body. The images show up in black and white, as different body tissues absorb varying amounts of radiation.

For example, your bones and teeth appear white, fat and other soft tissues show up as gray, and air in your lungs looks black on X-ray images.

X-rays help your provider diagnose certain illnesses and injuries, so they can establish an appropriate treatment plan for you.

What are X-rays used for?

Your provider uses X-rays to diagnose various health conditions, such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Osteoporosis or bone cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Breast cancer
  • Infections
  • Arthritis
  • An enlarged heart
  • Dental decay
  • Swallowed items in the digestive tract
  • Other digestive problems

Your medical history, family history, and symptoms determine which type of X-ray your provider recommends.

What should I expect during an X-ray?

During your X-ray, a technician may have you wear a heavy apron to protect certain parts of your body. You’ll remove jewelry, metal objects, and eyeglasses before the procedure.

Some X-rays require you to ingest a liquid called a contrast medium, that might contain barium and iodine, to highlight specific areas during imaging. If you require a contrast medium, your provider may give you a liquid to drink or give you an injection before the X-ray.

During the procedure, an X-ray machine passes a safe amount of radiation, similar to the radiation you’re naturally exposed to from the environment over 10 days, through your body to record images.

Your technician places your body in various positions, depending on the areas requiring X-ray images, and you’ll be asked to avoid moving.

You won’t be able to feel the X-ray. It’s a pain-free, noninvasive, quick procedure that usually takes just a few minutes to complete. If you require a contrast medium before your X-ray, the procedure may last an hour or longer.

What happens after the procedure?

After an X-ray, you can resume normal everyday activities. If you’ve ingested a contrast medium, be sure to drink plenty of water after the procedure.

Your radiologist might view results from your X-ray within minutes, and your doctor interprets the information and lets you know if an illness or injury requires medical intervention.

If you have symptoms of a health condition, schedule an appointment by phone or online with the medical providers at Malibu Medical Group to find out if you require an X-ray or another imaging procedure.