What is a digital x-ray?

Radiography is the imaging of body structures using x-rays. X-rays are a form of radiation similar to visible light, radiowaves and microwaves. X-radiation is special because it has a very high energy level that allows the x-ray beam to penetrate through the body and create an image or picture.

The image is created due to the x-ray beam being absorbed differently by different structures or parts in the body. A dense structure like bone absorbs a high percentage of the x-ray beam (which appears light grey on the image), whilst low density structures like soft tissues absorb a small percentage (which appears dark grey on the image). The body has many different structures of varying densities and this difference creates a picture or image.

Digital technology is now used across all InSight clinics to capture the x-ray image. This technology improves the diagnostic quality of the examination and significantly decreases the radiation dose required to form an image.

Patient preparation

There is no special preparation for this examination however you should inform the radiographer (the person who performs the x-ray) if there is any chance of you being pregnant.

What will happen during the examination?

Depending on the region being examined, you may be asked to change into a gown.

The radiographer will position the relevant part of your body over the digital imaging plate – this may involve you standing, sitting of laying down.

The radiographer may ask you to hold your breath and you will be required to remain quite still during the taking of the x-ray.

Generally, several different pictures are taken of the area so that all aspects of the anatomy are visualized in the x-ray examination.

Are there any risks?

You will receive a small dose of x-ray radiation. The benefits of detecting disease are believed to outweigh any potential risks of receiving such a small dose. Please advise the radiographer if you are, or think you may be pregnant.

After the examination

The digital x-ray images are processing and reporting by a radiologist (medical imaging specialist) this may take up to two hours or more from the end of the examination.

We can generally deliver the digital images and report to your doctor by the next working day. Alternatively you doctor may request that your return later to collect the x-ray film and report.