Diagnostic X-rays and Radiographic Procedures

An x-ray examination, also known as a radiograph, is a non-invasive medical test that exposes part of the human body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of internal body structures. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging, enabling radiologists and other physicians to diagnose and treat a variety of medical conditions.

X-rays are a form of radiation, like light or radio waves. As such, they can be focused into a beam similar to that of a flashlight. However, unlike a beam of light, x-rays are able to pass through most objects, including the human body. Dense tissue and bones within the body block or absorb many of the x-rays. In doing so, they produce a picture when the x-rays strike a computerized imaging plate, appearing white against the negative background. X-rays are highly effective in displaying the internal formation of any bone in the body, including the chest, abdomen, facial bones, skull, sinuses, hand, wrist, arm, elbow, shoulder, foot, ankle, leg, knee, thigh, hip, pelvis or spine.

Radiation exposure from x-ray examinations is minimal. Contemporary x-ray systems deliver a very brief and narrow beam of radiation. Exposure is reduced by limiting the size of the beam and utilizing lead shielding devices when appropriate.

X-Rays and Pregnancy

At Longview Radiologists, we take a conservative approach to x-rays during pregnancy. In general, they are considered safe. However, in light of conflicting studies and the controversy currently surrounding this issue, we advise x-rays should only be performed during pregnancy when the benefits outweigh the risks. X-ray examinations on the arms, legs or chest do not expose your reproductive organs to the direct beam. However, x-rays of the torso, such as the abdomen, stomach, pelvis, lower back and kidneys, have a greater chance of exposure to the uterus. Patients should inform the technologist if there is a possibility of pregnancy prior to examination and must complete a patient consent form.

If you have concerns regarding the amount of radiation involved in any of the tests we offer, please contact us at (360) 425-5131.

We offer the following diagnostic x-ray and radiographic services:
  • Chest
  • Abdomen
  • IVP
  • Cervical Spine
  • Thoracic Spine
  • Lumbar Spine
  • Skull / Facial Bones
  • All Joints (hip, knee, etc.)
  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Fingers
  • Sinuses