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What is an X-ray?

A radiograph is an imaging test used to produce images of the body, particularly the bones and joints, chest, abdomen and pelvis. It is generated by the passing X-rays from an X-ray source machine, through the part of the patient that needs imaging and onto a digital X-ray detector on the other side. The different tissues in the body absorb the X-rays by differing amounts according to their density and change the energy of the X-ray photons, altering how they expose the X-ray detector (similar to light affecting photographic film). X-rays are a part of the electromagnetic spectrum (which includes visible light) and are a form of ionising radiation. The procedure is quick and completely painless meaning that it can provide an effective way to quickly diagnose certain problems without the need to perform more extensive/expensive tests such as ultrasound, CT and MRI. The resulting image will be evaluated and reported by one of our expert radiologists so that your doctor or surgeon has the information they need when you see them.

When would we use an X-ray scan?

Radiographs can be used to assess for fractures as well as problems in the bones, joints, chest, abdomen and pelvis. They can be used as a sole imaging test for particular problems or can complement other imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT or MRI in providing a diagnosis.

What about the radiation dose of a radiograph (X-ray)?

Like CT, radiographs use ionising radiation in the form of X-rays to produce images. We are exposed to background ionising radiation around us due to inhalation of radon in the atmosphere, ingestion of trace radioactive elements in food and water, terrestrial radiation from the ground and cosmic radiation from space. The worldwide average annual human exposure to natural background radiation is about 2.4 mSv per year.1 The radiation dose associated with a radiograph depends on the part of the body imaged, varying from as low as 0.001 mSv for an extremity part such as the hand or foot, to 0.1 mSv for the chest and up to 1.5 mSv for the lumbar spine. In general, the radiation dose from a radiograph is very low (particularly for the extremities) and we use them only when doing so would aid diagnosis or affect management of your problem.

  1. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (2008). Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. New York: United Nations (published 2010). p. 4. ISBN978-92-1-142274-0.

What makes our X-ray machine beyond better?

At OneWelbeck, we use the latest X-ray devices which produce extraordinary anatomical detail using advanced imaging capture and processing to provide 40% improvement in the detectability of fine structures.2 Wireless detectors allow the radiographer to position quickly and easily obtain complex views.  Ultra high dose efficiency helps to further enhance diagnostic imaging quality at the lowest doses for all patient types. Advanced clinical applications  help our doctors, surgeons and radiologists to review the images in ways that enhance their diagnostic ability.  Comfort is at the core of OneWelbeck’s mission statement, and our X-ray machines provide flexibility for all types of patients, accommodating elderly and/or physically limited patients with ease.

  1. Source: GE whitepaper : High resolution for improved visualization (DOC2045904)

Contact Us

To speak with a specialist about an X-ray, contact our team today.
We are available from Monday to Friday: 8am – 8pm.

Phone: +44 (0)203 653 2001

Information for GPs

If you are a GP and would like to refer a patient, ask a question or enquire about our education events, please visit our dedicated GP page, by clicking here.