X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the inside of the body.
Reasons for Test
X-rays can be taken of any part of the body. They are especially good for looking at teeth and injuries to bones.
X-rays can also be used to:
- Find an infection, especially pneumonia
- Look for evidence of arthritis
- Diagnose heart and large blood vessel problems
- Look for fluid in the lungs
- Look for problems in the abdomen
By using oral, rectal, bladder or IV contrast materials, x-rays can also used be for other reasons, including:
- Looking at the stomach and intestines, gall bladder, or liver
- Small blood vessel disease
- Urinary tract or reproductive syatem abnormalities
- Locating tumors
An x-ray uses radiation to make images. The low levels of radiation from a single x-ray will not affect most people. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, then talk to your doctor before the x-ray. Radiation may be harmful to developing babies.
What to Expect
Prior to Test
Before your x-ray is taken, you may be asked to remove jewelry and put on a hospital gown.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
You may be given a type of contrast material.
Description of Test
A lead shield may be placed on parts of your body that are not being x-rayed. This will help reduce your exposure to radiation.
The x-ray device will be placed over the part of your body being studied. You will be asked to remain as still as possible while the images are taken. The x-ray device will send x-rays through your body. The x-rays will be captured on the other side of your body by a computer or on film.
You will be able to resume your daily activities after the x-ray is complete.
How Long Will It Take?
A few minutes
Will It Hurt?
The x-ray will be sent to a radiologist. A report will be sent to you and/or your doctor.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
In case of an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2015 -
- Update Date: 02/27/2014 -