Patients or family members of patients can take a few steps to reduce the dose of radiation during a medical imaging procedure.
- Discuss the procedure with your physician. How will an x-ray, CT scan, or fluoroscopy procedure help find out what is wrong or determine treatment? Ask if there are other acceptable alternative procedures that might give a lower radiation dose or do not use radiation, but still allow for good assessment or treatment. For example, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound procedures do not use ionizing radiation.
- For conventional x-ray imaging, shielding, such as wearing a lead apron, should be used to reduce radiation exposure to other parts of the body.
- Know your medical imaging history. Keep a list of your imaging records, including dental x-rays. Discuss your diagnostic imaging history with your health care professionals to avoid unnecessary duplication of tests.
For more information on reducing radiation exposure during medical imaging procedures, please reference Image Gently.