X-ray | Imaging (Radiology) | Loyola Medicine


Non-invasive Diagnostic Procedure for Structural and Tissue Imaging

An X-ray uses electromagnetic radiation to quickly and painlessly create images of the tissues and structures inside your body, with particular focus on the bones, lungs and heart. X-ray beams pass through the body and create images based on the density of the tissues: bones and metal appear white, air in the lungs appears black and fat and muscle appear grey. It is with these images that your doctor at Loyola Medicine can clearly see broken bones, clogged blood vessels (only with dye), lung diseases, cancerous tissues and other abnormalities.

Loyola offers the most advanced in imaging technology, which includes fluoroscopy to aid in the accuracy of procedures such as catheter insertion, stent insertion and joint replacements. Fluoroscopy creates a moving X-ray image, allowing your doctor to provide precise treatment. This technology exposes patients to greater doses of radiation because it is used for a longer period of time. Loyola also offers dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), which measures bone mineral density to screen for osteoporosis. Some of the latest innovations introduced in clinical practice are:

  • Dual energy subtraction — A technique that allows easier and more accurate detection of lung masses and infections on the standard chest X-ray, by digitally subtracting the bones from the images. It also allows accurate diagnosis of calcified lung nodules, thus avoiding unnecessary and costly CTs.
  • Digital tomosynthesis A new technique also available at Loyola. This allows doctors to take multiple “cuts” through the chest or the bones with a single X-ray exposure, thus allowing greater accuracy in identifying and analyzing fractures, masses or other destructive processes of the chest and the skeleton.

Loyola offers state-of-the-art imaging and diagnostic techniques in order to provide timely and accurate diagnosis for our patients. Our expert radiologists are recognized nationally and internationally for clinical excellence, innovative diagnostic and therapeutic methods and skilled use of the latest technology. Our experienced technologists provide testing in a caring and compassionate environment where we want you to feel comfortable asking any questions you may have about your test or procedure. 

Why Choose Loyola for X-ray?

As an academic medical center, Loyola provides compassionate, comprehensive care to patients and trains future leaders in advanced imaging technology. Loyola takes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and provides support services for patients and families. Your entire Loyola healthcare team has one goal: restoring you to better health.

Electronic images are available to your doctors instantly through an electronic medical record system, allowing us to deliver timely, effective care to our patients. At Loyola, we understand the importance of continuity of care and will provide seamless communication with your doctor through our secure medical information portal, LoyolaConnect. You can also access results from your lab tests and evaluations through myLoyola

What Diseases are Detected with an X-ray?

Your Loyola healthcare team is experienced in using X-ray technology to evaluate broken bones, clogged blood vessels, cancerous tissues and other abnormalities. Loyola’s dedicated team will deliver the highest quality of care—from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. 

We offer X-ray technology for the diagnosis of conditions and diseases, including:

What to Expect During an X-ray

At Loyola, your X-ray technologist will walk you through every part of the exam, preparing you for each step before it occurs. We want you to feel comfortable during your test, so let your technologist know if you need anything to make you more comfortable during your test. Also, please ask any questions you may have; your technologist is happy to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have. 

You will be asked to remove all metal from your body prior to your X-ray, and you may be asked to wear a hospital gown. Tell your technologist if you are pregnant, could be pregnant or have an IUD. 

Your X-ray technologist will position you for your test depending on the area of the body being studied. An X-ray is a painless imaging study that requires you to be still in order to produce clear images. This test takes just a few minutes to complete, depending on the number of images needed.

What are the Risks of an X-ray?

Your Loyola doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of any proposed diagnostic and treatment plan with you. Your healthcare team will only recommend an X-ray if it is medically necessary. While an X-ray does expose the patient to radiation, Loyola uses the lowest levels of radiation possible to make a definitive diagnosis of your condition. X-rays are generally considered safe, providing valuable diagnostic information in a non-invasive way. Nevertheless, at Loyola we strive to always apply the ALARA principle in all of our imaging. Our technical and medical staff are well-versed in dose reduction strategies and have pledged to "image gently" and "image wisely" children and adults.

Your healthcare team will ensure that your questions are answered and your concerns are addressed prior to any treatment or testing.