Diagnostic Imaging X Ray

A full range of diagnostic radiographic (X-ray) studies are available at Ballard, Cherry Hill, Edmonds, First Hill, Issaquah, Mill Creek, Redmond and the Swedish Center for Comprehensive Care. Diagnostic X-ray is an examination using ionizing radiation to produce images. X-rays are performed for various reasons such as, but not limited to, diagnosing bone injuries, tumors or chest infections.

Swedish offers the following diagnostic exams at our facilities:

Routine Radiography: includes x-rays of the chest, abdomen, spine, sinuses and extremities. These studies require 5 to 30 minutes. Please come dressed in clothing that lacks zippers, grommets, beads, sequins, etc. You may be asked to change into a gown or draw string pants for the exam as well as removing jewelry, glasses, hair pins and dental ware if it interferes with the body part being x-rayed. Routine radiography is also offered at several clinics. See a list of locations.

Fluoroscopy and contrast studies: includes upper GI's, swallow, speech and esophageal studeis; urography and renal (IVP's) exams, fertility exams (HSG's) and contrast studies of the small bowel and colon including defecograms (First Hill campus only). All of these exams require an appointment and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. 

Most, but not all, of these exams require a dietary prep prior to the appointment. Barium enema, therapeutic enema and defecogram require a bowel cleansing prep.

Information about the exams

Possible complications

You are exposed to ionizing radiation during an X-ray exam. Radiation exposure is more concerning for pregnant women and children. Routine X-ray exams are usually not recommended for pregnant women. Swedish strives to use the lowest dose of radiation possible for diagnostic interpretation. Exposure to radiation during pregnancy may produce birth defects. Always tell your doctor and technologist if you suspect you are pregnant.

What to expect prior to your exam

Most X-rays require no preparation prior to the exam. Certain exams, such as barium studies or contrast studies, may require specific preparations. Upon scheduling your appointment, you will be provided with any instructions concerning these exams.

What to expect the day of your exam

Depending on the exam ordered, you may be asked to change into a gown or draw string pants  in one of the dressing rooms located close to the exam rooms. Once you have changed, a technologist will take you to an exam room and explain your procedure to you. Depending on the area of interest, you may be placed on the X-ray table or the exam may be done standing. Various X-rays may be taken at different angles to best visualize the area.

How long will it take?

The duration of the exam ranges from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of X-ray or number of films ordered by your doctor. Barium studies and contrast studies may take from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Total time you will be at the health care facility is 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Exam results

A board certified radiologist will interpret your images and create a report for your physician. Swedish utilizes PACS and EPIC. All images are digitally archived to your electronic medical record. Same day test results are available due to innovative voice recognition technology. Reports are sent by internet, fax or electronic record to your doctor. Please call your doctor for results.

Swedish Diagnostic X-ray locations and outpatient appointment hours