What is an X-Ray?
An x-ray creates images of your bones and internal organs. X-rays are most often used to detect bone or joint problems, or to check the heart and lungs (chest x-ray). X-rays work by sending small amounts of radiation through the body. If an x-ray has been ordered, your doctor has decided that the value of the exam far outweighs any risk.
Let the Technologist know:
- If you are pregnant or suspect you may be
- If you have had an x-ray of this part of your body before. Old x-rays can be compared with new ones
- If you have any metal in the part of your body being imaged
Before Your Exam
Getting ready for an x-ray takes little effort. You may be asked to remove your watch, jewelry, or garments with metal closures from the part of the body being imaged. These items can block part of the image. In some cases, you may be asked to put on a gown.
During Your Exam
You will be asked to lie on a table, sit or stand. This depends on the part of your body being imaged. A lead apron may be draped over part of your body to shield it from x-rays. With an x-ray of your chest or abdomen, you will have to take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. Each exam will require 2 or more views.
Approximate Exam Time
Typically 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the complexity of the examination. The entire exam usually takes just a few minutes.
After Your Exam
After the test, you may have to wait briefly while the images are reviewed. You can return to your normal routine right away, unless you are advised not to.