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Radiology FAQs

Are x-rays harmful?

Every day of our lives, we are subjected to small amounts of radiation. This is known as background radiation. This can come from cosmic rays through to radon gas. Each medical exposure adds a small 'dose' on top of this. The amount of a dose depends on the type of examination you have. Before each radiograph (x-ray), a radiographer or radiologist will always ensure there is a benefit to the person having the examination.

What if I'm a diabetic? 

Always tell the department staff if you have diabetes. This enables us to book an appointment that takes this into account.

Some scans or examinations require giving you a contrast agent (an x-ray dye) injection. This may require you to stop taking your diabetic medication for a short period. We will discuss this with you when you book your appointment. 

What happens if I can't attend for my appointment?

Please try to give us 24 hours notice. This will allow us to offer the appointment time to another patient.

After my scan can I eat and drink normally?

You can resume normal eating and drinking activities once your examination is complete.

When will I get the results? 

You will normally get the results from the doctors looking after you at your next outpatient appointment. If you are an inpatient at the time of your examination we will send a copy of the results to the ward. This is usually on the same day.

X-ray dye examinations

I’m told I will need to have an injection of x-ray dye for my examination – are there any side effects?

As with most drugs you may experience some minor side effects. These can include a warm flush, a metallic taste in the mouth and the occasional sensation of passing water (you will not pass water it just feels like it!). This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. The radiographer will explain these effects and will stay with you when he/she gives you the injection.