Chest X-rays (CXR)

Chest radiographs are one of the most common kinds of test employed in medical institutions in order to determine common problems, which affect the chest and the surrounding organs or structures. The test uses radiation in order to develop accurate images of the structure of the chest and can detect any abnormalities. Chest x-rays are generally used to detect any abnormalities with the ribs or lungs but can give an indication of issues with the heart, the aorta (main blood vessel coming out of the heart) & other chest structures. Multiple images of the body can be developed easily by changing the direction of the beam or by changing the position of the body. Chest x-rays are commonly used procedures, their usefulness is limited to a certain number of diseases and abnormalities that can develop in the chest.

The general procedure followed during chest radiographs:

Though it is a relatively simple procedure, many protocols must be followed in order to make sure that the patient is guaranteed the best results from the chest radiograph. Before the procedure, the patient is examined and the necessary consent and approval forms are obtained after which the patient is prepared for the radiography by asking him/her to remove all clothing and items of jewellery from the area to be examined. After the scan is completed, the results are then normally loaded onto the hospital digital storage systems and reviewed by the doctors at a later stage. The patient is also given the appropriate information about the time taken for the results to develop. Special care is taken in the case of trauma victims or children in order to avoid any further complications to the health.

Risks/Complications:

Before the development of x-rays, the older type of medical technology made use of intrusive and exploratory procedures in order to find out the problem within the patient. As this usually led to many complications both during and after the procedure, the development of the X-ray technology was considered as a significant boom in medical science. However, there were a few cons associated with it such as:

  • There is a higher chance of the patient developing cancer in the later stages of his/her life. This fact is affected by various conditions and aspects of the treatment such as the amount of radiation absorbed by the patient, exposure time, etc. People who are exposed to X-rays at a younger age have a greater chance of developing cancer in their lifetime. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to consult your doctor in order to understand if you really need to undergo the procedure.
  • Another complication that can occur as a result of X-rays are skin burns and cataract. This side effect usually occurs when the patient is exposed to large doses of radiation. By consulting your doctor, you will be able to better understand the effects of the treatment on your body.

However, in most cases the serious effects of these treatments can be seen only when the patient undergoes repeated exposure to these electromagnetic radiations. There are also many safety precautions that can be adopted in order to ensure minimal damage to health and avoid the associated side effects.

 

The effects on the body post treatment:

After the treatment, the patient can carry on with his/her normal life as there are no serious effects on health or physical conditions of the body. However, due to the long term risks with the procedure, it is paramount to make sure that you absolutely need the procedure before deciding to go ahead with it. By consulting with your doctor, you will be able to find out how an x-ray can help diagnose your disease and help with your treatment. By making sure that the medical institution employs appropriate safety measures and precautions, you can get the best results from your treatment.