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X-Ray in Northwest Montana

What Is an X-Ray?

X-ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of diagnostic imaging. X-rays can produce detailed images of the human body on film or in a digital format, which allows physicians to view and assess broken bones or other injuries. X-rays are an important tool in guiding orthopedic surgery and in the treatment of sports-related injuries. X-ray images may uncover more advanced forms of cancer in a patient’s bones, although traditional cancer screenings will typically require other types of diagnostic testing.

The radiologists with Northwest Imaging are all board-certified by the American Board of Radiology and have extensive experience performing safe and accurate X-Ray imaging. Contact us today for more information on X-Ray in Montana.

Common Uses of X-Ray Imaging

  • Assist your medical care team in identifying and treating bone degeneration or fractures.
  • View, monitor, or diagnose joint injuries and infections, such as arthritis, artery blockages, and chronic abdominal pain.
  • Detection and diagnosis of cancer, although usually computed tomography (CT) scans or MRIs are preferred since they are able to provide much more detailed insights that can determine more about the extent and the nature of a suspected cancer.

How do I Prepare for an X-Ray?

There is no special preparation required for most X-rays. Patients may be asked to change into a dressing gown before the examination, and to remove any jewelry, eyeglasses, or metal objects that can interfere with the results of the X-ray.

Women should always inform the technologist prior to the X-ray being taken if there is any possibility that they could be pregnant.

What Should I Expect During an X-Ray?

An X-ray usually takes between 5 to 30 minutes. The exact length of time will depend on how many images are required. Generally, this process will include:

  • Being appropriately positioned by the technologist while standing or lying down, and then having a film holder placed behind or under the body.
  • Pillows may be used to help hold the patient in a certain pose.
  • The technologist will step behind a radiation barrier and ask the patient to hold very still, without breathing for a few seconds.
  • The X-ray equipment is activated, sending a beam of X-rays through the body to expose the film.
  • The technologist then repositions the individual to get images at another angle, and the process is repeated as many times as is necessary.
  • X-rays are often generated quite quickly, so patients can usually review their results with a technologist or physician immediately after they conclude their final image.

Common Concerns & Questions

Getting an X-ray is completely painless, and does not require any sort of anesthetic before or after the diagnostic imaging process. Some patients report minor discomfort while engaged in certain positions, while holding their breath, or from the cold table surface that they may be asked to lay on during their X-ray. All of these situations should resolve themselves quickly after the images are taken, and will not result in any significant side effects.

X-Ray at Northwest Imaging

If you have additional questions regarding X-ray imaging, please contact Northwest Imaging to speak with one of our specialists at our offices throughout Montana. Patients can also contact us to address any upcoming imaging tests, or to request an update on the results of any X-rays already completed. We perform diagnostic testing at our many Montana radiology clinics including Browning, Townsend, Libby, Kalispell, Plains, Whitefish, Hot Springs, Chester, Shelby, Conrad, Cut Bank, Lakeside, Columbia Falls, Eureka, Fort Benton, Polson, Malta, Rnan, and Choteau.