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.