The X-ray of the abdomen taken with the patient’s body in the supine position comprise a large proportion of the plain-film examinations conducting on abdomen. The abdominal X-ray of this kind is asked for frequently by the doctors, though it does not add a lot of significance in the diagnosis. However, it does carry a lot of weight, when the patient is suspected of bowel obstruction, as well as to assess the air-fluid levels in the distended bowel.
A preliminary bowel preparation is an important precursor to the abdominal X-ray. Carrying out the right preliminary procedures enables better results of the X-ray on the film. Such preparation ecompasses a curated combination of laxatives, enemas, and controlled diet.
Bowel Preparation procedures should not be administered if the patient is suspected of having an ailment concerned with the intestines, like bowel obstruction and visceral perforations, or in case the patient is acutely ill. Preparation on the patient’s part includes removing the clothing from the abdominal area (especially any opaque components from the clothing, which can obstruct the X-ray).
An X-ray of the abdomen in erect position can be helpful in the diagnosis of a number of complications related to the
abdomen area. Some of the most frequent uses of the X-ray include the diagnosis of:
• Bowel obstruction/ abnormal gas pattern.
• Free intraperitoneal air (pneumoperitoneum).
• Free intraperitoneal fluid (ascites).
• Abnormal size or contour of organs.
• Development of abnormal masses.
The procedure of conducting an abdominal X-ray is simple, but is highly mechanical and hence, requires expertise in radiology to get the correct imprints. The setup of the X-ray equipment (which includes the X-ray machine lighting, and film for recording) and its correct positioning may take up some time. This depends entirely on the radiologist conducting the procedure. A very important factor in getting the desired X-ray results is the position of the patient’s body at the time of conducting the X-ray. Your doctor will instruct you how to position your body relative to the X-ray equipment. Rest is dependent just on the click of a button!