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Services

Radiology (X-ray) Services

X-ray, Diagnostic

X-ray, Fluoroscopic

Mercy Health Saint Mary's offers two forms of X-ray services to best serve you: Flouroscopic and Diagnostic. Both forms are briefly described below. Please use the navigation links to the right to further explore what Mercy Health Saint Mary's has to offer with our X-ray services.

X-ray, Diagnostic

Overview of Modality

X-ray uses a beam of high energy radiation that is able to pass through many kinds of solid materials, like your bones and organs. A radiograph is a photo taken using the X-ray beam. An X-ray is a painless test that produces images of the structures inside your body. Dense materials, such as bone and metal, show up as white on X-rays. The air in your lungs shows up as black. Fat and muscle appear as varying shades of gray. Some types of X-ray tests (usually fluoroscopy) require a contrast material, such as iodine or barium, to be introduced into your body to provide greater detail on the X-ray images.

Radiology (X-ray) Services at Mercy Health Saint Mary's in Grand Rapids, Michigan continue to provide a blend of the latest technology with exceptional, patient-focused care. We provide all the traditional X-ray services to any age group, from newborns to seniors. Mercy Health Saint Mary's in downtown Grand Rapids is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We have several X-ray locations around the Grand Rapids area for your convenience. Please click here for a listing of our locations, addresses and hours of operation.

Most general X-ray procedures do not require an appointment and can be done as walk-in appointments at any of our locations. We can schedule and perform your fluoroscopic X-ray examination within 24 hours (excluding holidays and weekends), and will provide results to your physician promptly.

Mercy Health Saint Mary's X-ray Services are available throughout the Grand Rapids area, with services at the following sites:

How do I prepare for this procedure?

What to Wear
In general, depending upon which body part you are having an X-ray of, you will change into a gown or drawstring pants. Our technologists may also ask you to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, and any metal objects that may obscure the X-ray image, because these objects can show up on an X-ray.

Contrast Material
Before some types of X-rays, you're given a liquid called contrast medium. Contrast mediums, such as barium and iodine, help outline a specific area of your body on the X-ray image. You may swallow the contrast medium, or receive it as an injection or an enema.

What can I expect during/after the procedure?

During the X-ray
A technologist positions your body to obtain the necessary views. He or she may use pillows or sandbags to help you hold the proper position. During the X-ray exposure, you remain still and hold your breath to avoid moving, which can cause the image to blur. The machine produces a small amount of radiation. This is very safe level of radiation exposure. The X-ray passes through your body and records an image on a specialized plate. You can't feel the X-ray passing through you. X-ray procedures may take only a few minutes for a bone X-ray, or more than an hour for more-involved procedures, such as those using a contrast medium.

Your Child's X-ray
If a young child is having an X-ray, restraints or other immobilization techniques may be used to help keep him or her still. These will not harm your child, and will prevent the need for a repeat procedure, which may be necessary if the child moves during the X-ray exposure. You may be allowed to remain with your child during the test. If you remain in the room during the X-ray exposure, it is required you wear a lead apron to shield you from unnecessary exposure.

After the X-ray
After an X-ray, you generally can resume normal activities. Routine X-rays usually have no side effects. However, if you received an injection of contrast during your visit, and are experiencing pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site, contact your physician immediately. You can also ask your doctor about other signs and symptoms to watch for pertaining to your specific X-ray procedure.

Receiving Your Results

Your exam will be read by a board-certified radiologist. The report is usually transferred to your physician within one to two days, but additional time may be needed for your physician to review and correlate with other tests that you have had. If you have not heard anything within five business days after your exam, you can contact your physician’s office.

Which Mercy Health locations offer this service?

Additional Information:

Please click here for additional patient information on diagnostic X-ray procedures.

X-ray, Fluoroscopic

Overview of Modality

Fluoroscopy is a technique for obtaining “live” X-ray images on a patient. Basically, fluoroscopy is like an X-ray TV camera. The Radiologist uses a switch to control an X-ray beam that is transmitted through the patient. The x-rays connect with a digital receptor (image intensifier) that is then viewable on a television. The Radiologist can then watch the images live on a monitor. Fluoroscopy is often used to guide the physician during a diagnostic procedure.

Radiology (X-ray) fluoroscopic services at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, Michigan, continue to provide a blend of the latest technology with exceptional, patient-focused care. Fluoroscopic services are available at Mercy Health Saint Mary's at our downtown Grand Rapids location Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or on an emergency basis.

How do I prepare for this procedure?

Different types of fluoroscopic exams require different preparations. Please click on the links below to view specific information on some of our more common fluoroscopic procedures. 

What to Wear
When checking in, you will be asked to change into a gown and scrub pants, depending on which area is being X-rayed. Our technologists may also ask you to remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects that may obscure the X-ray image, because these objects can show up on an X-ray.

Contrast Material
Before some types of X-rays, you're given a liquid called contrast medium. Contrast mediums, such as barium and iodine, help outline a specific area of your body on the X-ray image. You may swallow the contrast medium, or receive it as an injection or an enema.

What can I expect during/after the procedure?

During the Fluoroscopic X-ray
A technologist positions your body to obtain the necessary views. He or she may use pillows or sandbags to help you hold the proper position. During the exam, you may have to remain still and hold your breath to avoid moving, which can cause the image to blur.

The machine produces a small amount of radiation. This is very safe level of radiation exposure. The X-ray passes through your body and records live images so they can be viewed on a monitor. You can't feel the X-ray passing through you. Fluoroscopic X-ray procedures are more involved and may take up to an hour or more.

After the Fluoroscopic X-ray
After a fluoroscopic X-ray procedure, you generally can resume normal activities. If you received an injection of contrast during your visit, and are experiencing pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site, contact your physician immediately. You can also ask your doctor about other signs and symptoms to watch for pertaining to your specific X-ray procedure.

Receiving Your Results

Your exam will be read by a board-certified radiologist. The report is usually transferred to your physician within one to two days, but additional time may be needed for your physician to review and correlate with other tests that you have had. If you have not heard anything within five business days after your exam, you can contact your physician’s office.

Which Saint Mary’s Health Care locations offer this service? 

Additional Information:

Please click here for additional patient information on fluoroscopic X-ray.