German Physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen first discovered x-rays in 1895. Since Roentgen’s discovery, technological advancements in image acquisition have ensured that x-ray imaging continues to play a central role in medical imaging.
At San Radiology we have three of the latest GE Digital Radiography systems and an EOS Long Length Imaging system (orthopaedic and spinal applications) allowing us provide a fast and efficient service to our patients. Digital x-ray technology has enabled us to significantly reduce our outpatient waiting times, as well as provide consistent low dose imaging for our patients. San Radiology was the first imaging provider to introduce both Digital Radiography systems and the EOS to the northern suburbs of Sydney.
Generating the X-Ray Image
It surprises many people to learn that the x-ray image we look at is actually generated by light energy, not x-rays. In the early days of medical imaging the x-ray image was recorded by placing an ordinary photographic film behind the patient. It took a lot of x-rays to make an image this way, resulting in higher radiation dose to patients. For many years now, imaging cassettes have contained both a film and a special built-in screen that converts x-rays to light energy. Improved sensitivity of the screens has resulted in a significant decrease in radiation dose.
Nowadays the latest imaging systems are now both screen and film free. Instead, a phosphor imaging plate stores the energy from the x-ray and it is then “read” by a laser that converts the stored energy into a digital signal/image. These images are then displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor for interpretation. These systems are known as either Computed Radiography (CR) or Digital Radiography (DR). At San Radiology we operate and apply the latest generation of DR and CR systems, ensuring superior imaging quality (compared to more traditional techniques) at the lowest achievable radiation dose to our patients.
How X-Rays Interact with the Body
An x-ray image is somewhat similar to a shadow. When x-rays pass through the body they produce a shadow image of bones and tissues. Where the x-rays pass through a body part unobstructed the appearance will be black. Alternatively where the x-rays pass through the body part and are significantly obstructed the appearance will be white. Different structures in the body absorb (or block) the path of the x-ray beam differently resulting in a range of grey to white shades on the image produced, largely dependent on the density of the given body structure. A good example is that of a chest x-ray; where the lungs appear very dark (black end of the spectrum) compared to the structures of the heart and spine (white end of the spectrum) reflecting the difference in density between the structures.
General X-Ray Appointments
You do not need to make an appointment to have an x-ray at San Radiology, you simply need to present to our department with the referral and any previous examinations/imaging for comparison between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays).
Please contact San Radiology on 02 9487 9850 if you have any questions or queries. Alternatively you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.