X-ray imaging or radiography is the most common imaging technique used in radiology. To make a radiograph, a part of the body is exposed to a very small quantity of X-ray radiation. The X-rays pass through the body and strike a film to create a still image. X-rays are safe and performed in a way to minimize radiation exposure. No radiation remains after the radiograph is obtained.

X-rays can capture a variety of conditions within the body, and they are often a fast and easy method for the radiologist to make a diagnosis. X-rays are used to image every part of the body and are used most commonly to examine:

  • Bones
  • Chest
  • Abdomen

How Is an X-ray Performed?

X-rays are fast, noninvasive, and painless. X-ray images take seconds to capture, and your complete exam can be accomplished in approximately 20 minutes. Immediately following the exam, you can return to your normal activities.

The typical X-ray exam happens as follows:

  • Most X-rays can be captured through your clothing; hospital gowns are available, if necessary.
  • The X-ray technologist will place you in a standing or lying position depending on the body part being imaged.
  • The X-ray equipment is positioned next to the area to be imaged.
  • You may hear a slight click as the image is captured.
  • Multiple images may be taken from various angles to obtain the best view
  • You may be asked to hold your breath while the X-ray is being taken to eliminate blurring.

Preparing for Your X-ray Procedure

There is minimal preparation required for a radiograph. No dietary restrictions are needed, and you can continue to take your prescription medications. To obtain the best results, we recommend the following:

  • You may be asked to change into a hospital gown to eliminate the chance of artifacts from your clothing.
  • Please remove metal objects such as jewelry, eyeglasses, or hearing aids.
  • Women should always inform their technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.