Plain X-ray

Basic examination in radiology


X-rays are useful in the detection of pathology of the skeletal system (skull, spine, ribs, pelvis, extremities) as well as for identifying lung diseases (chest x-ray) such as pneumonia, lung cancer or pulmonary edema and abdominal disease processes (abdominal x-ray) such as intestinal obstruction, free air or fluid and gallstones or kidney stones which are radiopaque. X-rays are less useful in the imaging of soft tissues such as brain or muscle.

Please bring any previous x-rays with you on the day of your examination.

There is no special preparation required for most x-rays. If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be, you should tell your doctor or radiographer before the test is performed, as special precautions may have to be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.
Upon arrival you may be asked by the radiographer to change into a gown before your examination. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, and any metal objects that may obscure the images. The technologist will then place you on the x-ray table. You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. The number of images taken depends on the reason for the examination and the body part being imaged. You will be exposed to a very small amount of radiation when you receive an x-ray.