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Phoenix VA Health Care System

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Radiology - X-Ray section

X-ray Department 

About digital X-ray and fluoroscopy:

An x-ray is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with X-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.

Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. This form of X-ray can be used to further evaluate the upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) tracts.

General X-ray exams are taken on a walk-in basis during regular hours of operation. There is no patient preparation required for these exams, however, you should avoid wearing jewelry in the imaged area. If there is metal on clothing, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown for the exam.

General X-ray exams are short in length, averaging 5-30 minutes depending on how many areas of the body are being imaged. The approximate exam time you were given during the scheduling process may be shorter or longer, depending on many factors such as: emergent in patient cases put on our schedule last minute, equipment calibration, malfunction or unforeseen technical issues.

Supervision of children and service animals in Radiology:

Please be aware that you may not bring children or service animals into the secure Radiology area with you. You will need to have someone with you to watch your children or service animal in the lobby while you have your examination. The technologists and support staff cannot take responsibility for your children or animal during your radiology exam.
-Per VA Policy Memorandum 114.13 & 132-07 

The following exams are conducted by appointment only:

  • Arthrogram/Pain Injection
  • Cystogram/Urethrogram
  • Bone Survey
  • Dexa/ Bone Density
  • Barium Enema
  • Upper GI/Small Bowel/Esophagram/Barium Swallow 


  • 602-277-5551 ext. 7611

Hours of Service:

  • 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday
  • 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday
  • Closed Sunday 
  • Please check in 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.


  • Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) - 2nd floor, Room A2200.
    • From ACC main entrance (Indian School Road):
      • Come through the front doors of the ACC building.
      • Head to your right approximately 60 feet as you come through the front doors to the elevators #S10 & #S11, located just to the right of the main lobby area & across from Diamond Clinic.
      • Take the elevator to the second floor.
      • Turn left out of the elevator. The Outpatient Radiology Department is located on your left, approximately 30 feet from the elevators, in the first room past the men's restroom.
      • Look for the SIGN “X-RAY RADIOLOGY”. (We are directly across from the Outpatient Lab and Specialty Clinic.)
    • From valet parking and the northwest parking lot (via the north entrance of the ACC):
      • Come through the rotating door and head straight down the hallway approximately 150 feet.
      • You will pass the “Dental Clinic”, then “Beneficiary Travel”, next you’ll pass “Patient Advocate” and then “Turquoise Clinic”.
      • The main lobby area is to your right.
      • Turn left after the Turquoise Clinic to the main elevators #S10 & #S11 that are located across from the Diamond Clinic.
      • Take the elevator to the second Floor.
      • Turn left out of the elevator, the Outpatient Radiology Department is located on your left, approximately 30 feet from the elevators in the first room past the men’s restroom.
      • Look for the SIGN “X-RAY RADIOLOGY”. (We are directly across from the Outpatient Lab and Specialty Clinic.)

Exam descriptions and preparation instructions:

  • BONE SURVEY: This is a series of 15-20 x-rays of the spine and long bones in the body to evaluate for lesions. This exam is often ordered after a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.
    • Prep: No patient prep is necessary and the exam lasts 45-60 minutes.
    • Time: 45-60 minutes
  • BONE DENSITY EXAMS (DXA): Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DXA is today's established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). BMD is a measure of how much calcium and other types of minerals are in an area of your bone. It is most often performed on the lower spine and hips, and wrists. DXA is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. It is also done on patients taking medications, or have certain medical conditions. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, as well as structural changes, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.
    • Prep: The patient must not have any nuclear scans, barium enema exams or oral contrast used for Abdomen/Pelvis CT scans one week prior to the exam. Avoid pills four (4) hours before exam. Wear clothes without buttons, snaps or zippers to avoid having to change into a hospital gown. Please wear T-shirt and elastic shorts or pants if possible.
    • Time: 15-30 minutes.
  • ARTHROGRAM: An arthrogram is an exam to obtain a series of pictures of a joint after a contrast material has been injected into the joint. This is an MRI exam which includes an injection that is performed under x-ray guidance prior to the MRI. The radiologist will use lidocaine to numb the site and inject the contrast material directly into the joint. After the injection, you will be escorted to MRI for the remainder of the exam.
    • Prep: None
    • Time: The injection portion of this exam takes approximately 20 minutes. The MRI portion takes 20-45 minutes.
  • PAIN INJECTION: During this exam, the radiologist will inject a combination of steroids directly into the joint space in an effort to relieve pain. Lidocaine is injected first to lightly numb the site, then the prescribed steroids are injected into the joint.
    • Prep: None
    • Time: 20-30 minutes.
  • CYSTOGRAM/URETHROGRAM: A cystogram/urethrogram is an examination that takes pictures of your bladder and urethra using fluoroscopy. A thin flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through your urethra into your bladder. Contrast material is then inserted through the catheter. This exam is performed by a radiologist and helps to visualize abnormalities.
    • Prep: None
    • Time: Approximately 30 minutes.
  • BARIUM ENEMA: Barium enema, or lower GI, is an x-ray examination of the large intestine using barium contrast administered through the rectum. The radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the rectum, colon and sometimes part of the lower small intestine. This exam helps to detect diseases or abnormalities occurring in this area.
  • BOWEL CLEANSING PREPARATION FOR BARIUM ENEMA:The exam requested by your physician requires that your bowel be cleansed and clear of stool.
    • Prep: It is important that you follow and complete all directions carefully. Take only the medications, food and fluids in the amount specified and at the times shown, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Following these instructions will provide the best results and avoid having to repeat the procedure. Individual responses to laxatives vary so remain close to the restroom facilities once you have starts the bowel cleansing procedure. ***DO NOT EAT BREAKFAST. DO NOT EAT OR DRINK UNTIL THE PROCEDURE IS OVER***
    • Time: 60-90 minutes.
    • ABOUT THE DIET: The prescribed diet does not allow you to consume foods that will leave solid residue matter in your bowel. The ONLY foods that you may consume will be clear liquids and low residue as follows: clear fruit juices and soda pop, black coffee or tea, plain gelatin, popsicles, and the following soups: consommé, bouillon, and onion soup. Foods that you cannot eat include vegetable, fruits, or fruit nectars, nuts, fats, butter, milk, or any milk product, fried foods, beef, pork, lamb, fowl, whole grain cereals, bread or crackers. Hard candy and cough drops are allowed. **No red or dark colored foods. NO DAIRY PRODUCTS**
    • In preparing yourself for the examination, you are instructed to drink a specific number of 8 oz. glasses of clear water. YOU MUST DRINK AT LEAST THE NUMBER OF GLASSES IN THE TIME PERIOD COVERED BY THE SCHEDULE YOU FOLLOW TO BE SURE YOUR BODY DOES NOT DEHYDRATE. This fluid also plays an important role in cleansing and flushing out your system. The liquids you drink may be citrus fruit juices (canned) and other juices such as apple, cranberry, grape, Gatorade and similar drinks, tea or coffee (black) or water. The number of glasses of liquid specified is in addition to all the other fluids you take.
    • YOU MAY DRINK MORE THAN THE SPECIFIED AMOUNT, BUT NOT LESS. Please call if you have any questions.
  • ESOPHAGRAM, UGI, BARIUM SWALLOW: An exam in which you will drink a barium solution as the radiologist uses fluoroscopy, or live x-ray, to evaluate the esophagus and the stomach. The barium allows the visualization of these structures as they are not clearly seen on regular x-ray.
    • Patient prep: Nothing by mouth after midnight.
    • Time: 15-30 minutes.
  • SMALL BOWEL: You will be asked to drink a specified amount of barium. After this is completed the technologist will take x-rays at timed intervals until the barium has moved through the GI tract and reached the beginning of the large intestine. 
    • Prep: Nothing by mouth after midnight.  
    • Time: Exam could last up to four (4) hours or more, depending on the individual. Please bring reading material.

Staff Listing:

  • Supervisor- Lynett Wilson RT(R)
  • Lead Technologist- Richard Rogers RT(R)
  • Lead Technologist- Sharon Pollard RT(R)
  • Technologists-James Berry   RT(R)
  • Ashley Beverly   RT(R)
  • Galina Borshch   RT(R)
  • Joy Branham   RT(R)
  • Theo Brooks   RT(R)
  • Peter Devera   RT(R)
  • Scott Drewell   RT(R)
  • Samantha Gray   RT(R)
  • Steve Giggy   RT(R)
  • Joseph Kelly   RT(R)
  • Thomas Kooranpalissery RT(R)
  • James Smart   RT(R)
  • Julie Smith   RT(R)
  • Laura Smith   RT(R)(CT)
  • Ken Stellwagen   RT(R)
  • Lonny Stimac   RT(R)
  • Karla Soward   RT(R)
  • James Sweet   RT(R)
  • Ron Valles   RT(R)
  • Tara Woodberry   RT(R)(M)
20 technologists with 300+ years of experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When do I get the results?
A. The results from your exam are electronically sent to your ordering provider in 1-2 business days. However, the images will be available for you provider to view immediately.

Q. Can I have a copy of the exam?
A. You can request a copy on CD from medical records located near the Emergency Room.

Q. Will the technologist tell me if they see anything wrong?
A. Technologists are not allowed to read x-rays. The images are sent to the radiologist who will write a report on findings.

Q. Are there any risks with x-ray?
A. There is always a slight risk of damage to cells or tissue from being exposed to any radiation, including low levels of radiation as with x-ray. But the risk of damage is usually very low compared with the potential benefits of the test. Technologists take very precaution to practice radiation safety. If you have any concerns, you can discuss them with your provider.

Q. Why aren’t patients always taken in order of arrival?
A. Certain exams require specific equipment which may not be available in all examination rooms. If you are concerned you have been overlooked, please check with front desk where you checked in.

Q. I am here for a shoulder x-ray but my hand hurts too, can you take that x-ray as well?
A. X-rays are prescribed by your provider with a written order. The technologist can’t perform an exam without an order.