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Radiography (X-ray)

What is an X-ray?

An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation with very high frequency and energy that is able to pass through your body. The X-rays are absorbed in different amounts depending on the density of the material they pass through. Dense materials, such as bone, show up as white on X-rays, while fat and muscle appear as shades of grey.

X-ray

Some types of X-ray tests known as fluoroscopy, which shows continuous and instantaneous X-ray images on a monitor like a movie, are used to see blood vessels or internal organs and require a contrast agent or dye (such as iodine or barium). The contrast agent is swallowed or injected into your body to create more detailed images.

Getting an x-ray: what to expect

Preparing for the test

Different tests require different preparations. While plain X-rays generally do not require any preparation, fluoroscopy procedures such as enemas and small bowel series requires different preparations depending on the procedure. For example, some tests may require you to not eat or drink for several hours before your test. Another test may not have any restrictions.

It’s important that patients follow the correct preparation instructions for the test to be performed properly. If you are having an X-ray at Sunnybrook and are not sure of how to prepare for it, please call 416-480-4336.

For some fluoroscopic procedures, you may require blood tests within one week before your procedure to ensure that it is safe to conduct the procedure.

On the day of the test

Plain X-ray tests are completed on a first come, first serve basis, while skeletal surveys and fluoroscopic procedures – like cystogram, enemas, and small bowel series – require an appointment. The test will take approximately 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the procedure and how many images you need.

Please check-in at the Bayview Campus (2075 Bayview Ave), M-wing, ground floor, room MG 102.

You may be asked to change into a hospital gown and remove any jewelry or articles of clothing that could interfere with the images.

During the test

Depending on the test, a lead blanket or apron may be used to cover and protect certain parts of the body that are not being imaged and are highly sensitive to radiation.

The technologist will help position you in front of a camera. To help ensure the images taken are as clear as possible, it is important that you remain still as the camera takes each image.

The images will then be sent to our radiologists who will review them for any abnormalities or diseases.

After the test

Generally, you can resume your usual activities and regular diet immediately.

The results of your X-ray should be available to your referring physician within two to three business days after your test. Your physician will discuss the test results with you.

Your report and images can also be accessed through MyChart in two to three weeks after your test.

MyChart

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Questions? Learn more

Location and Contact

Radiography (X-ray)

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

2075 Bayview Avenue,
M-wing, ground floor, room MG 102
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4336
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre

43 Wellesley St. East
Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416-967-8528
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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