David Nelson Hand Surgery Greenbrae Marin hand specialist surgery of the hand orthopedics San Francisco



Back to New Patient Page

Obtaining Xrays

I think that looking at your xrays is important in giving you the best possible medical care. I want to see the actual xrays, not just a typed report.

You need to pick up your xrays yourself and bring them in with you to your first visit. The Emergency Room or the Radiology Department will not arrange for the xrays to be sent to me. The only way that the xrays will be available to contribute to your diagnosis and care is if you get them yourself. (This is one of the many contributions that modern "managed care" has given us: there no longer is any delivery service to bring your xrays over to me.)

If your xrays were taken in the Marin General Emergency Room, the ER personnel should have given you your xrays printed on film at the end of your visit. If not, you need to request them. Until you ask for them to be printed, the xrays are digital xrays, that is, they exist only on a computer. All the doctors in the hospital viewed your xrays on the hospital computer. In order for me to show your your xrays and discuss them with you, you need to request that the digital xrays be printed on film so that you can bring them to your office visit. You should call 925-7300 and ask that the xrays be printed and ready for you to pick up. It may take 24 hours to print your films (that is why I have requested that all ER xrays be printed and handed to the patient prior to their leaving the ER, to save you time.) Be sure to arrange this in plenty of time prior to your appointment with me. Expect it to take about 30 minutes for you to arrive at the hospital, find a parking place, find the xray file room, and pick up your xrays. Please plan ahead so that you are not late for your appointment with me.


If your xrays were taken elsewhere, please contact the physician's office who ordered your xrays or the radiology practice where they were taken, to find out where your xrays are. They may be in your physician's office or in the radiology suite. I will need to see the xrays themselves (not just the written report) if I am to give you the best quality care.

PLEASE NOTE: I would like the xrays printed on film. The radiology departments of all hospitals usually prefer to give you the xrays on a CD, because it is cheaper than film. But I cannot show you the xrays and explain your diagnosis to you if they are on a CD. If you bring the xrays on a CD, I will have to:

(1) load the CD onto my computer
(2) open the xray program on the CD
(3) learn their program (this can take 15 minutes or more)
(4) open each xray image
(5) magnify or adjust the image
(6) copy the image
(7) import the image into Photoshop
(8) color correct, crop, derotate, contrast correct, and label the image
(9) print it, so that I can bring it into the exam room and explain it to you

This takes a lot of time and your insurance company will not pay for it. So, please have your xrays printed on film.

If you are not able to get your xrays on film, and can only get them on CD, I will charge $35 to process and print them. I am sorry to have to charge you for this, but as you can see, it takes a lot of time to process them. The xray department only does it because it saves them money, not because they are trying to give you great service or help you.

$35 charge for bringing xrays on a CD (this is not covered by your insurance and is your responsiblility)

If you would like to know what normal xrays are supposed to look like, click here.

I can't give you top quality care without your xrays, so be sure to bring them with you. If you do not bring them, I will send you to get them before I can treat you.