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X-ray

An X-ray uses a small amount of radiation to make 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). They are also used to check for calcifications in your body, such as renal stones. You may also have an X-ray to check for problems in the bowel such as an obstruction or free air in the abdomen. X-rays are also used to look for a foreign body, such as metal. This can be from trauma or a swallowed object.

Technician preparing woman for x-ray.

Things to be aware of

 Tell the technologist if you:

  • Are or may be pregnant

  • Have had an X-ray of this part of your body before

  • Have metal in the part of your body being imaged

Before your test

Here is what to expect before the test: 

  • You may be asked to remove your watch, jewelry, or garments with metal closures from the part of your body being imaged. These items can block part of the image.

  • You may be asked to put on a gown.

  • You may be asked about your overall health or any medicines you take.

During your test

Here is what to expect during the test: 

  • You will be asked to lie on a table, sit, or stand.

  • A lead apron may be draped over part of your body to shield it from the X-rays.

  • With an X-ray of your chest or belly, you may have to take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds.

  • Each exam usually needs at least 2 X-rays. You may need to move your body before each new X-ray.

After your test

Here is what to expect after the test: 

Your healthcare provider will discuss the test results with you during a follow-up appointment or over the phone.

Your next appointment is:__________________

Online Medical Reviewer: Neil Grossman MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 9/1/2021
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