Skull x-ray is an imaging test that physicians use to examine skull bones, This includes facial bones, nose and sinuses.
It is an easy, fast and efficient process that has been used for decades to help physicians see the area where your most vital organ in your brain is located.
Why a skull X-ray is done
Before You’re X-ray, Your physician will tell you exactly why your X-ray was taken. An X-ray of the skull is generally performed after a traumatic head injury. X-ray (Radiography) allows your physician to inspect any damage caused by the injury. (1)
Here are other reasons why you may need an X-ray of your skull:
- Decalcification of the bone
- deformities in the skull
- skull and facial bone fractures
- A skull bone infection
- hearing loss
How to prepare for a skull X-ray
There is little preparation required for X-rays. (2)
Just before X-rays, you may have to take off your clothes and change into a hospital gown. Maybe you’ll be able to keep yours clothes if your clothes do not have snap buttons or metal zip fasteners.
You will have to remove all the jewels, sunglasses and other metals around your head. This includes necklaces, earrings, etc. Metal may interfere with clear X-ray image. (3)
Let your hospital staff know if you have any type of device surgically implanted, such as a metal objects in your head, an pacemaker or a artificial heart valve. Even if these things can damage the picture, Your physician can still decide to take an X-ray.
Other tests, like MRIs, can be dangerous for people who have metal in their bodies.
How a skull X-ray is performed
A special room is used for radiography ( x-ray) with a X-ray movable camera attached to one large metal arm. It is designed to take more than one X-ray from different parts of the body.
For a X-ray of the skull, you sit on a chair or lie on a clinical table. A drawer below the table contains the X-ray film or a special sensor that allows images to be saved to a computer. A leaded apron will be placed on your body, to protect your body (in particular the genital area and breasts) against radiation.
The radiology technologist may ask you to lie on your back to begin, but you will need to change your position in order for the camera to capture frontal and lateral views. As the pictures are taken, you will be asked to hold your breath and not move. You’ll never feel the X-ray go through you.
This should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. After the test, you can do as you normally do anything.
The risks of a skull X-ray
While X-rays use radiation, nothing remains in your body when the test is carried out. Physicians argue that the advantages of the test outweigh any risk of exposure to the minimum amount of radiation produced.
However, although the level of exposure is believed to be safe for adults, repeated exposure of radiation may no be safe for developing fetus in pregnancy. If you are pregnant or trying to be pregnant, discuss this with your doctor.
Results and following up after a skull X-ray
A radiologist and your physician will examine the images, which are usually developed on big film sheets.
While the radiation enters your body on the film, Denser materials, like bones and muscles, look white. Tumors and other outgrowths may appear white as well. When presented on an informed background, your physician and radiologist can determine if there is a problem.
Based on the X-ray footage, Your physician may prescribe additional follow-up examinations, such as an MRI or CT scan.