X-Ray & Fluoroscopy

X-rays are a type of radiation called electromagnetic waves. X-ray imaging creates pictures of the inside of your body. The images show the parts of your body in different shades of black and white. This is because different tissues absorb different amounts of radiation. Calcium in bones absorbs x-rays the most, so bones look white. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less, and look gray. Air absorbs the least, so lungs look black.

The most familiar use of X-rays is checking for broken bones, but X-rays are also used in other ways. For example, chest X-rays can spot pneumonia. 

When you have an X-ray, you may wear a lead apron to protect certain parts of your body. The amount of radiation you get from an X-ray is small.


Fluoroscopy uses X-rays and a fluorescent screen to study moving structures in the body, such as viewing the heart beating. It can also be used in combination with swallowed or injected contrast agents to view the digestive processes or blood flow. Fluoroscopy is also used to precisely place instruments in certain locations within the body, such as during epidural injections or joint aspirations.

Imaging Safety

Image Gently logo

NMMC participates in The Image Gently Alliance. The primary objective of the Alliance is to raise awareness in the imaging community of the need to adjust radiation dose when imaging children.

Image Wisely logo

NMMC also participates in the Image Wisely campaign, which works to lower the amount of radiation used in medically necessary imaging studies and eliminate unnecessary procedures.

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NMMC Radiology Services are available by referral.

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