X-ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-rays can produce diagnostic images of the human body on film (conventional radiography) or on computer monitor (computed radiography) that allow doctors to view and assess bones and soft tissues. Mammography is a specialized form of radiography.
How should I prepare for an x-ray?
There is no special preparation required for most bone x-rays. You may be asked to change into a gown before your examination and remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects during the exam.
Women should always inform the technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
What can I expect during this procedure?
An x-ray exam usually takes five minutes to half an hour.
You might be positioned standing or sitting, or perhaps lying down on an x-ray table, depending on exactly the type of exam or the body part being imaged.
Cushions or supports may be used to help you hold the proper position.
Then the technologist steps behind a radiation barrier and asks you to hold very still, and may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds.
The x-ray equipment is activated, and the x-rays penetrate the body part and are detected after they exit by a special detector device.
The technologist then repositions you for another view, and the process is repeated as necessary.
When your x-rays are completed you will be asked to wait until the technologist checks the images. Sometimes the radiologist will ask for additional views.