Are x-rays safe?

The very low radiation dosage in x-rays, as well as in CT scans, fluoroscopy, and tomograhy imaging -makes them extremely safe diagnostic tests.

What are x-rays?

X-rays are a type of radiation that are created using large amounts of electricity. X-rays are used in medical imaging much like a camera uses visible light to create an image. X-rays pass through the body and create an image on film based on how many x-rays get absorbed and how many pass through. These films are commonly referred to as “x-rays,” but x-rays are actually the type of radiation that is used to produce the image. Studies that use x-rays include plain films, fluoroscopy and computed tomography (CT scans).

What is radiation?

Radiation can simply be described as energy moving through space. It can take many forms, including visible light, x-rays, gamma-rays, microwaves and radio waves. This site specifically addresses high energy or ionizing radiation, which includes x-rays. Ionizing radiation has many uses, including sterilization of food and medical equipment, creation of medical images, and is even used in the treatment.

Where does radiation come from?

Radiation is all around us. Currently, two main sources of ionizing radiation are from natural background radiation and medical exposure (CT scans and x-rays). Natural background radiation comes from the Sun (cosmic radiation), the Earth (mostly Radon gas) and from naturally radioactive substances in our body. Natural background radiation exposure accounts for an average of 3.1 mSv/yr with variations depending on where you live.

Why does an open MRI scan take so much longer than regular high-field MRI?

Examination times are longer than in regular MRI because the magnetic field strength is lower and therefore requires more time to acquire images for a quality exam.

Is the scanner a tube?

No , an open MRI scanner has a wide, non-constricting space.

Will the head being out of the scanner?

The area of the body being scanned will be in the center of the scanner for most procedures with the exception of the head, neck, or shoulder areas, your head will remain outside the scanner.

Is there any risk?

MRI is very safe. There are no health risks associated with the magnetic field or of the radio-waves used by the machine, nor have any side effects been reported. Patients with a pacemaker or certain types of aneurysm clips should not have MRI.