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X-ray digital imaging

An X-ray machine produces an image on a film or detector by passing high-energy radiation through the body.

What is an X-ray?

Similar to a normal photograph taken with light, an X-ray is a picture of the body produced by X-rays. High-energy radiation passes through the body to produce an image on a film or detector when an X-ray machine is used. Images are then used to show bone and some soft tissue in an area specified by a healthcare professional. You cannot see or feel an X-ray. The X-ray is a quick and simple way of looking at the inner body.

There are a number of reasons why you may be referred for an X-ray including diagnosis of pain and tracking disease. More commonly X-rays are used to look at bones and joints for fractures or diseases such as arthritis or osteoporosis.

Other conditions can also be detected such as gastrointestinal problems, lung disease, scoliosis and some cancers.

Accessing private healthcare is easy, whether you choose to use your private medical insurance or pay privately.

If paying privately, you may choose to consider spreading the cost of your surgery by opting for a monthly payment plan.

We aim to make our costs as transparent as possible, but it’s important to talk everything through in detail with your consultant at the time of your appointment. If you have insurance, we can arrange a direct settlement with your insurance provider but do encourage you to check in advance to see if your treatment is covered. To see the price guide click here.

You may be sitting down, lying down or standing up for your X-ray. Your clinician will correctly position the part of your body that needs to be imaged by the X-ray machine.

Your radiographer is specially trained to operate the X-ray machine.

The X-ray only takes a few seconds and you will not feel anything as the X-rays pass through your body however you will need to remain still. Several X-rays may be taken from different angles.

Contrast X-rays

If a contrast X-ray is needed you will be advised on any specialist requirements. These procedures usually require more time to prepare for than a standard X-ray without a contrast agent. Contrast X-rays are used to allow certain tissues in your body to show up more clearly.

For standard X-rays where no contrast is needed, there are no special requirements for preparation. You can eat, drink and take any medicines normally. However, if you are having a contrast X-ray you may need to avoid eating and drinking for several hours before your X-ray and stop taking certain medicines. Your radiology team will advise you on this before you come into the hospital for your X-ray.

On the day of your X-ray wear loose-fitting clothes without any metal attachments and try not to wear any jewellery on the area being X-rayed.

Treatment Overview

Combining a calming hospital environment with outstanding patient care so you can recover as quickly as possible.

  • Average procedure duration Up to 20 minutes

  • Covered by health insurance? Yes

  • Can I pay privately? Yes

You’re in safe hands at Sulis Hospital.

Fast track your treatment

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