What are X-rays?

An X-ray is a quick and painless imaging test used to produce images of the structures inside the body.

It is a particularly useful way of looking at bones and can be used to help detect a range of conditions which can assist physicians diagnose and treat certain medical conditions.

X-ray’s may be carried out by a number of healthcare professionals, such as dentists and chiropractors. They are also frequently carried out in a hospital by trained specialists called radiographers.

How does an X-ray work?

In order for an image to be produced, X-rays, a type of radiation, travel through the body and are absorbed in different amounts by different parts of the body. They can’t be seen by the naked eye and you can’t feel them.

An X-ray detector on the other side of the body picks up the X-rays after they’ve passed through you and turns them into an image.

Dense parts of your body that X-rays find it more difficult to pass through, such as bone, show up as clear white areas on the image. Softer parts that they can pass through more easily, such as your heart and lungs, show up as darker areas.

When are medical X-rays used?

X-rays can be used to examine most areas of the body. They’re mainly used to look at the bones and joints, although sometimes used to detect problems affecting soft tissue, such as internal organs. Some conditions that may call for an X-ray include:

  • bone fractures and breaks
  • tooth problems, such as loose teeth and dental abscesses
  • scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine)
  • non-cancerous and cancerous bone tumours
  • lung problems, such as pneumonia and lung cancer
  • dysphagia (swallowing problems)
  • heart problems, such as heart failure
  • breast cancer

Are X-rays covered under a Private Medical Insurance policy?

If you have Health Insurance, your policy is likely to include cover for eligible X-rays that relate to in-patient treatment. X-rays that relate to eligible out-patient treatment will be covered depending on the out-patient benefit selected. This could mean that they are covered in full or within a capped out-patient limit applied to your policy.

If you would like to find out what cover you have for diagnostic tests under your existing health plan or want to discuss purchasing health insurance, please contact us on 01245 929 129 or email enquires@smphealthcare.com where we will be delighted to help you.

Information sourced from http://www.nhs.uk/