What is radiography?
Radiography imaging includes:
- Standard radiography (X-rays)
- Fluoroscopy (real-time images created with X-rays)
These are some of the most common types of radiology imaging. Doctors use them to evaluate a variety of illnesses or injuries in many parts of the body.
X-ray is the oldest form of medical imaging. It is painless and usually can be completed quickly and easily. To create an image, a large camera uses radiation to capture a picture of the inside of the body. An X-ray passes through the body and onto a recording plate.
Doctors use X-rays to diagnose many disorders, including:
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic injuries
Fluoroscopy uses a continuous series of X-ray images to show movie-like images of body processes to let doctors see if internal body systems are working properly.
Common fluoroscopy procedures include:
- Upper GI
- Lower GI (Barium enema)
How do I prepare my child for a radiography test?
There may be special rules about preparing for the test your child will have. Be sure to write down and follow any directions you are given when you set up the appointment. If you forget or have questions, call us at 832-TC4-XRAY (832-824-9729).
What happens during a radiography test?
Before and during the test, a child-life specialist can help your child relax and feel more comfortable by providing coaching and distraction tailored to your child’s developmental level. Sometimes this helps reduce the need for sedation.
Pregnant women are not allowed in the radiography testing room. Please tell the technologist if there is a chance you might be pregnant. If you are, bring another adult to stay with your child during the test.
If your child is young or unable to lie still, he may need to be given medicine to help him relax or sleep. This is called sedation or anesthesia. Depending on the test, sedation or anesthesia may be given by mouth, shot or IV (a needle connected to a tiny tube).
The doctor may want your child to be given contrast medicine during the test. Contrast is a special medicine that helps certain body parts show up better on the image. It may be given as a drink or with an IV. If contrast is given in an IV, your child may notice a warm feeling and a metallic taste. These last only for a few moments. If your child drinks the contrast, it may have a slightly unpleasant taste that fades soon.
If your child needs an IV, a needle will be inserted into your child’s skin to give the medicine. Your child might feel a pinch or a poke when the needle goes into the vein. We have ways to help with the pain if your child needs it. If sedation is given, you will return to the waiting room during the test.
For most X-rays, your child will lay flat on an exam table underneath a moveable X-ray machine. The technologist will position your child and the X-ray recording plate, then place a lead apron over the front of your child’s body. The technologist will then go behind a wall and operate the X-ray machine. More than one image may be taken.
Your child may need to sit, stand or lie still while the X-ray is taken. He may need to hold his breath for a few seconds. If your child receives sedation or anesthesia, you can return to the exam room when the test is over. We will monitor your child closely until he is fully awake. Follow any instructions regarding activity and dietary restrictions.
How do I find out results of the radiography test?
The technologist cannot tell you the results of the test. A pediatric radiologist will analyze the images and provide a report of the findings to your child’s doctor. Your child’s doctor will then notify you of the results.
Why choose Texas Children’s?
At Texas Children’s Hospital, we customize each child’s radiography procedure to ensure the utmost safety, latest techniques and comfortable, pleasant experience. This provides the best-quality image, resulting in a more-accurate diagnosis and successful treatment.
- We use the lowest level of radiation exposure possible to achieve the highest quality image
- Our state-of-the art equipment and technology are designed especially for children
- Board-certified pediatric radiologists are among the most renowned and experienced in the country. They are supported by specially trained technologists and nurses.
- Specialized imaging procedures are customized for children
- Child-friendly, relaxing environment helps families and children feel at ease
- Child-life specialists are available to help your child relax before and during the procedure
- Safe, reliable sedation and anesthesia are available if needed