What is an X-Ray?

X-Rays are a type of high-energy radiation that can pass through the body. They are used in hospitals to produce images of the inside of your body. The use of X-Rays in hospitals are subject to strict regulations, and are therefore only performed when absolutely necessary.

Different parts of the body absorb varying amounts of radiation. The dose of radiation you receive from a plain-film X-Ray is considered to be very low – equivalent to 1-3 days of natural background radiation. 

X-Ray examinations are usually carried out in a hospital radiology department by a Radiographer or Consultant Radiologist. These are trained healthcare professionals who specialise in X-Ray techniques, ensuring that you receive an optimised examination.

What are X-Rays used for?

X-Rays are used to either diagnose, monitor or treat problems in your body. They are mainly used to examine your bones and joints, although they are sometimes used to look at problems affecting soft tissue, such as lungs, bowel or blood vessels.

In our Ramsay hospitals we use X-Rays for CT examinations, DEXA, Breast Screening, Plain-film x-rays and Fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy is used to provide ‘live’ images to the Radiologist or Surgeon performing a procedure, such as in the operating theatre or interventional suite.

The benefits and risks of having an X-Ray examination will be weighed up by your doctor or Consultant before they refer you to the radiology department. 

What do I need to do before my X-Ray appointment?

Your appointment letter will confirm the date, time and location of your examination. Unless specifically stated, you do not need any special preparation before the examination.

Please tell the radiology department if you have had a similar examination recently, or if there is any chance you are, or may be, pregnant. 

If you feel you have any additional needs, please contact the radiology department using the number in your appointment letter, so that we can ensure your needs are met and, if necessary, allow extra time for your appointment.

What happens during the X-Ray examination?

If you are having a plain-film examination, the Radiographer will meet you, check your details and explain the procedure to you. You may need to change into a hospital gown.

Prior to the X-Ray examination, let the radiographer know if you have had a similar examination recently, or if there is any chance you are, or may be, pregnant.

The examination should take no more than a few minutes, and the Radiographer will be able to see and talk to you throughout the procedure.

For safety reasons, we don’t normally allow anyone accompanying you to come into the examination room whilst you are having your X-Ray.

You will be able to ask any questions you may have throughout the procedure.

What happens after the X-Ray examination?

You are able to carry on your normal activities immediately after the X-Ray.

A Radiologist will examine your images and send a report back to the person that referred you for the examination. You will need to make an appointment with the referring clinician to receive your results.

We are unable to discuss your results with you immediately after the examination, as your Doctor or Consultant will do this with you at your follow-up appointment

What is the cost of an X-Ray scan?

The cost of an X-Ray examination will depend on the type of X-Ray procedure and which Ramsay hospital you attend.

You will receive a formal quotation price following a referral from your GP or clinician. This formal quote for your X-Ray scan will be valid for 60 days.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. X-ray examinations are covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to check with your insurance provider and obtain their written authorisation before your X-Ray scan.

Patient Choice is a government initiative introduced to give NHS patients more choice about where, when and what time they are treated. NHS patients in England who require hospital treatment can now choose any participating Ramsay hospital in the country that can meet their needs. The current NHS waiting time from seeing your General Practitioner to treatment is a maximum of 18 weeks.  

X-Ray at Ramsay Health Care

At Ramsay Health Care we aim to provide our patients rapid access to state-of-the-art X-Ray equipment and high-quality services. We strive to provide quick X-Ray examinations and flexible appointments as well as provide results within clinically appropriate timeframes. You may choose a private X-Ray appointment with us for fast and direct access to our diagnostic services.

Our X-Ray staff are highly trained and experienced Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered professionals who are committed to providing excellent patient care and customer satisfaction.

We have strict protocols in place to keep you safe during your visit to our Ramsay hospitals including optimised patient flows, social distancing in our waiting areas, and additional cleaning for common touchpoint areas.

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