X-rays aren’t only for diagnosing broken bones: they can provide helpful information about your heart and blood vessels, too. At Sacramento Heart & Vascular Medical Associates, with offices in two locations in Sacramento and additional locations in Davis and Jackson, California, the team of board-certified cardiologists has a one-stop shop for all your cardiovascular needs, including an on-site X-ray lab. Book your appointment online or call the office nearest you to schedule today.
X-ray is an advanced diagnostic and imaging technique that produces pictures of the structures inside your body. During an X-ray, a tiny amount of ionizing radiation enters your body. Your different body structures absorb the radiation at varying rates, translating into images.
With X-rays, bones show up well because they’re so dense. But other organs, including your heart, can also show up on X-rays, so it’s a useful diagnostic tool in cardiology.
You might need X-rays in many different situations, but at Sacramento Heart & Vascular Medical Associates, the most common reason for X-rays is to evaluate the chest area.
A chest X-ray can provide information such as the following:
X-rays can show the heart's overall size, for example, whether it’s enlarged.
Irregular heart shape could mean a problem, such as heart failure, damaged heart valves, or inflammation in the sac around the outer heart.
X-rays can show the blood vessels that lead to and from your heart, potentially revealing problems like a bulging aorta (aortic aneurysm).
Specialized chest X-rays (coronary calcium scans) can reveal plaque buildup (which contains calcium) in your arteries. The more calcium detected, the higher your risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Chest X-rays can also reveal lung problems, for example, fluid buildup in the lungs, that are tied to heart problems like heart failure.
The friendly technicians at Sacramento Heart & Vascular Medical Associates guide you through the X-ray process. You’ll need to remove metal, like jewelry, from your body before your X-ray. During the X-ray, your technician positions you and then asks you to hold your breath and remain still for several seconds, which helps them get the clearest pictures.
X-rays only take a few minutes, and they’re completely painless. After your X-rays, you can go back to your normal routine. You’ll discuss your results with the team in a follow-up appointment (or, sometimes, that same day).
X-rays provide very valuable information about your heart and blood vessels, but in some cases, you might need additional imaging, like an echocardiogram, to delve deeper into your results.
Call the Sacramento Heart & Vascular Medical Associates office nearest you or click on the online booking feature to arrange your X-ray appointment in the state-of-the-art lab today.