Programs & Services at Sterling Regional MedCenter  

General X-Rays

x ray  

This page is for information purposes only.  For advice and specific questions please contact your primary care or referring physician.


Abdomen
An examination of the abdomen will show outline images of the kidney's, urinary bladder, liver, and gas patterns of the bowel and stomach.  This exam is usually ordered when patients have experienced an injury to the abdominal area or are experiencing abdominal pain.  A plain film of the abdomen is often taken before having other exams performed with the introduction of contrast liquid, such as an I.V.P, barium enema or Upper G.I.

Preparation
There is no special preparation for this examination unless your are also having X-rays specifically for your kidneys, bladder, colon or stomach.

Procedure
You will be asked to remove your street clothing such as shirts with buttons, and jeans or pants with zippers or buttons and put on a hospital gown and robe. 

You will be asked to either lie on the X-ray table on your back or stand with your back against a film holder. 

The technologist will position you by touching places on your side and the front of your abdomen to find the correct anatomical landmarks.  You will be asked to hold your breath while the X-ray is being taken to ensure there is no blurring or movement on the film. 

The technologist will then leave the room to process your X-ray and to ensure that the picture or image is of good quality and technically correct. 

After ensuring your exam is of superior quality you will be allowed to change back into your clothing and leave the imaging department.  A radiologist, or doctor specializing in reading and interpreting X-ray images, will dictate a report for your exam and send a copy of the report to your ordering or primary care physician within 24 hours.

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Chest
The chest X-ray, or image of your heart and lungs, is the most common medical imaging examination.  This examination is used to reveal conditions such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, tuberculosis, tumors, or other lung and heart problems.  It is also widely used as part of a routine physician examination. 

Preparation
There is no special preparation for this exam. 

Procedure
You will be asked to remove your shirt if it has any buttons, snaps, zippers, iron-on emblems or metallic stitching. 

If you are wearing a necklace you will be asked to remove this also.  A hospital gown and robe will be given to you to wear during your exam. 

Routinely, two X-rays are taken during this exam, occasionally other views may be requested by your physician. 

The first is taken with you facing the X-ray film board or stand.  The second is with your side against the board. 

The technologist will be placing their hands on your back and shoulders to locate anatomical landmarks to assist in accurate, quality positioning and imaging. 

For each X-ray, you will be asked to take in a deep breath and hold it.  The entire exam only takes a few minutes. 

You will be asked to wait while the technologist steps out of the room to look at the X-rays they have taken to ensure good positioning and quality.  After your images are approved you will be escorted back to your clothing and out of the department. 

Your films or X-rays will be given to a radiologist, or physician specializing in X-ray, for interpretation and diagnosis.  Within 24 hours your primary physician will receive a final report.

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Bones (Extremities)
Upper extremity X-rays are images of the finger, hand, wrist, elbow, forearm, upper arm and shoulder. 

Lower extremity X-rays produce images of the toes, feet, ankle, lower leg, knee, upper leg or hip.  These X-rays are used to detect fractures, soft tissue damage, arthritis and other bone diseases. They are usually ordered when injury occurs or when there is unexplained pain or swelling.

Preparation
There is no special preparation for this exam. 

Procedure
For X-rays of your fingers, hands, wrists, toes, feet, and ankles you will not have to change clothes.  You will be asked to remove any jewelry covering the area being X-rayed so that it isn't covering any bones on the X-ray.  For the other extremities you may be asked to remove clothing or push clothing out of the way so that it is not covering any of the bones or joints that need to be looked at.  These exams take 15-30 minutes to complete. 

After your X-rays are taken the technologists will ask you to wait while they step out of the room to process the X-ray film and evaluate the images for quality and accuracy.  After your images are approved you will be allowed to dress or put jewelry back on and leave the image department.  The X-ray films will be given to a radiologist, or physician specializing in X-ray, for interpretation and diagnosis.  Within 24 hours your primary physician will receive a final report.

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Spine
This examination of the spine focuses on the bones in the neck (cervical spine), upper back (thoracic spine), lower back (lumbar spine), or tailbone (sacrum/coccyx).  Spine X-rays are usually ordered because a patient suffered a back injury or is having back pain or symptoms.  These X-rays can reveal injuries, fractures and arthritic conditions.    
 
Preparation
There is no special preparation for this exam. 

Procedure
For X-rays of your spine you are going to be asked to remove all metal items from the head and neck area.  This includes jewelry and clothing (Necklaces, earrings, dentures, eyeglasses, tongue rings, belly rings, barrettes, hairpins, retainers and clothing with snaps, zippers, buttons or metallic imprints).   These X-ray exams require two to seven films be taken depending on the area of concern, your doctor can order additional views when necessary. 

You are going to be lying on the X-ray table, sitting or standing at the film board, or a combination of these positions. 

During these exams you will be asked to turn, roll, bend, or rotate to image the various anatomy of each area within the spine. 

The exam will take less than 30 minutes to complete. 

After your X-rays are taken the technologists will ask you to wait while they step out of the room to process the X-ray film and evaluate the images for quality and accuracy. 

After your images are approved you will be allowed to dress or put jewelry back on and leave the imaging department.  The X-ray films will be given to a radiologist, or physician specializing in X-ray, for interpretation and diagnosis.  Within 24 hours your primary physician will receive a final report.

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Important note:
If you are of child bearing age and think there is any possibility of pregnancy it is important that you inform the physician ordering these x-rays and tell the technologist taking your x-rays.  If you have any known allergies to contrast, iodine, or foods please inform your physician BEFORE proceeding with any of the instructions that follow.

Sterling Regional MedCenter
615 Fairhurst St.
Sterling, CO 80751
(970) 522-0122
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