The discovery of x-rays by William Roentgen in 1896 was one of the greatest breakthroughs in medical history. X-rays remain the cornerstone of medical imaging, also known as radiology, and are used to diagnose a diverse range of medical conditions, such as bone fractures, lung infections and tumours, kidney stones and bowel obstruction.

X-rays are part of the radiation spectrum along with visible light or radio waves. X-rays pass through the body, which absorbs the radiation in varying degrees. Bone absorbs much of the radiation producing a white area on x-ray film, while soft tissues, such as muscle, fat and organs appear grey because these areas allow much of the x-ray to pass through. Air appears black because no radiation is absorbed.

At South Coast Radiology we use the latest digital x-ray technology to create and store x-ray images. If you are a registered a referrer you can access your patient’s digital x-rays, scans and reports through our secure online archival system, or view the films we provide. For more information about registering to access patient images visit the Access Medinexus Portal section. <3.1 for referrers>

General x-rays are performed at all South Coast Radiology locations:

  • John Flynn Hospital
  • Pindara Private Hospital
  • Oxenford
  • Palm Beach
  • Robina
  • Runaway Bay
  • Smith Street
  • Southport (Gold Coast Surgical Centre)
  • The Women’s Imaging Centre, Southport
  • Tweed Heads
  • Varsity Lakes

A radiologist will interpret the patient’s x-rays and provide an expert. At South Coast Radiology, we compare and monitor all relevant, previous imaging for a more comprehensive evaluation and report. Patients will be advised to return to the doctor who referred them to discuss the results.

If a radiologist believes that a patient will benefit from further imaging, such as ultrasound, MRI or CT, that will be noted in the report. Follow-up imaging is sometimes the best way to see if treatment is effective or if an abnormality gets worse. A patient with a bone fracture will need x-rays at regular intervals to show if the fracture is healing properly.


If you know a patient is pregnant or suspects that she might be pregnant, please add that information to the clinical notes section of the request form.

Many imaging tests that use x-rays are not performed during pregnancy, in order to avoid exposing the fetus to unnecessary radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions are taken to minimise exposure. See our patient safety section for advice about x-rays during pregnancy.