The success of treatment largely depends on accurate and timely diagnosis. And here the person comes to such an invention, like x-rays. Today the method is applied universally, without it it is difficult to imagine modern medicine. Many patients are concerned about the question of whether is it harmful to do x-rays?
What is the x-ray?
The method of which will be discussed in this article, named in honor of the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, who discovered in 1859 some x-rays. After the death of the scientist they were called x-ray.
These rays differ from light (which either are absorbed by the skin or reflected by it) that "stitch" through the body.
Thus, with the help of x-ray machine part of the body in need of study, is penetrated by the rays, and the detector detects them on the other hand, creating a black-and-white image – a radiograph. The latter is the result of one of the types of x – ray radiography. But the second view (fluoroscopy) images does not provide. The image in this case is simply displayed on the monitor screen.
What is and how is it performed?
The specificity of the dense structures is such that x-rays are absorbed by them, causing the corresponding areas on the radiograph are white. A structure with low density pass through the rays themselves and "give" them almost intact, providing the black areas in the picture.
Procedure x-ray takes several minutes. Depending on the investigated area the patient has to bare one or another part of the body. If the doctor asks you to take off all your clothes, then it needs to issue a special robe which will not pass x-rays to organs that don't need the study. X-rays are usually given to the patient at hand.
It is very important during the study to strictly comply with all instructions of radiologist, so the result is accurate. To "retake" should not count, because you can often do x-rays only to those who are not worried about their health.
Why prescribe x-rays?
According to statistics, about seventy percent of all diagnoses in the modern world are put through an x-ray. It is prescribed for suspected fractures and dislocations, diseases of the heart, stomach, lungs and other internal organs.
X-rays allow to identify the disease, consider the dimensions of the affected areas to determine the extent of damage and to distinguish one disease from another with similar symptoms.
Without x-rays it is difficult to understand whether the patient needs surgical intervention or not. In addition, many operations are performed under the direct control of x-ray machines. Of course, the benefit of this medical method is huge. But, unfortunately, there is harm.
What is the negative impact of x-rays on the body?
You have to understand that x rays are radiation. Exposure of their body, of course inflict some damage. Lingering in the cells and non-cellular structures while passing through them, the rays destroy the DNA chain and cause failures in the coordinated work of the authorities.
The degree of danger depends on the dose of irradiation. And it is in the study of various organs is different. For example, during a chest x-ray the body receives only a small number of rays. The same procedure as barium swallow or a barium enema, involve a large dose of x rays.
Attentive to their health, no wonder people wonder about how often you can do an x-ray. Indeed, if we apply this method in excess of, you can "earn" tumor, blood diseases, etc.
Limited visit x-ray room will not have any significant effects on the body. At least, it is unlikely to be greater than exposure to the sun while tanning on the beach.
What dose rays safe for the body
So, as you can often do x-rays? Usually to prevent a healthy person this procedure is prescribed once a year or in two years, and in that the amount of harm it will bring. Usually, we are talking about fluoroscopy.
Employees in specific sectors of activity needs to take x-rays more frequently – twice a year. This applies to employees of the food industry and all who are in constant contact with people.
But patients suffering from any illness, are forced to undergo x-ray examinations as many times as required. In this case, the disease carries a greater threat than the rays.
X-rays during pregnancy
If the adult x-ray irradiation in small amounts will not bring harm, to unborn baby they can be really dangerous. Therefore, an x-ray to pregnant prescribed very cautiously and only in extreme cases. And during the screening tests of this method does not apply never.
Much depends on the duration of pregnancy. So, the most devastating x-ray to the fetus in the first trimester. And the second one in this case is considered optimal for the procedure. If the study was conducted before the woman learned about his interesting position, it must supply notice of the gynecologist, which leads to her pregnancy.
The degree of danger of x-rays for a child also depends on which organ is investigated. Of course, a head x-ray or x-ray of the foot will bring much less harm than the examination of organs of small pelvis.
But sometimes this x-ray can not be avoided. In such cases the belly of a pregnant woman is offered a special lead shield, impervious to the rays, and after the procedure is assigned to an ultrasound. It is necessary in order to ensure the normal state of the fetus.
A separate issue – lactation. Many breastfeeding moms, worrying will not hurt if the x-ray the child, avoid this technique even after childbirth. But at this point you should not worry. The rays in the milk are not absolutely no danger.
X-rays and children
How often can X-rays be given to children and can it be done at all? Underage patients, too, as with pregnant women, are appointed with great care. If there really is no other way out.
This is because the radiosensitivity of the young body two to three times higher than that of an adult. In addition, the internal organs of the child located at a short distance from each other, and the high risk to "catch" the healthy patients in the study.
During the procedure, the child's body (excluding the study area) covered with protective material. Also, experts recommend to close your eyes. The most common situations where doctors can go for the purpose of x-ray young patients, are the serious problems with the teeth, urination disorders, frequent asthma attacks.
But to carry out chest x-rays in the case of a negative Mantoux test experts do not suggest, although domestic hospitals, it is practiced frequently. With great caution should be taken to the x-rays of the hip joints in childhood as this is one of the most dangerous types of research.
How to minimize the effects of x-rays
Risking the negative effects of x-rays is much higher if it is held on the old equipment and unskilled personnel. So the choice of the clinic should be treated carefully.
A good specialist knows that during the procedure in the first place to protect the genitals, thyroid and eyes. If the safety is done by using the lead plate, it should be shrouded.
It often happens that x-rays can be replaced by alternative methods of research. For example, a head x-ray it is advisable to appoint only if you want to "enlighten" the bones of the skull. And in other cases it is better to conduct a CT scan or MRI of the brain.
A good alternative to x-rays is also considered an ultrasound. This procedure is safe and much more effective.
How much does an x-ray in Russia?
The question of the cost of the procedure is one of the most important for the average patient. Many people think that the more money you ask the doctors, the better will be the result. Actually it is not so. And when talking about this procedure, x-rays, its price depends primarily on the investigated organ, as well as the town in which it is conducted. Naturally, the closer to the capital, the more expensive.
The price range for different types of x-ray in Russia the following:
- A head x-ray from 500 to 2000 R. R.
- X-rays of the spine – from 600 to 7500 R. R.
- X-ray of the fallopian tubes – from 6000 to 15 000 R. R.
- Densitometry is from 1000 to 5000 R. R.
- A chest x-ray – from 600 to 9000 R. R.
- X-rays of the joints – from 500 to 3000 R. R.
- X-ray of the stomach - from 2000 to 15 000 p.
- X-rays of the intestines – from 600 to 2500 R. R.
- X-rays of the urinary organs – from 2000 to 5000 R. R.
Prices, as you can see, sometimes "bite". But it is better to pay for the research and time to diagnosis than long and tedious to be treated for who knows what. More will come. And for health, and for the purse.