The x-ray was discovered on November 8, 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röentgen, a German physicist. Experimenting with a photographic plate, Röentgen produced an image of his wife's hand which became the first x-ray of the human body. Röentgen termed his experiment "X" because it was previously unknown. Today, even though we now know how x-rays work, it is still called X-ray or Roentgen Ray.
Medical X-rays are able to image and identify bony and soft tissue structures. Diagnostic x-ray is the most common medical use of X-ray. Diagnostic x-ray examines the body using the basic x-ray techniques discovered by Röentgen. These X-ray images can be either radiographs (or "still" images) or fluoroscopy (or "real-time" images). Fluoroscopy uses x-rays with video cameras so internal motion can be visualized. Some X-ray exams require drinking or injection of a "contrast" material that will better outline structures to be seen on the image.
There are many types of X-ray exams and most don't require any special preparation. Those that do require preparation are listed under the "Exam Information" page.
Routine radiography is performed at our all our locations: the East Campus, Boston; the Shapiro Clinical Center, Boston; the West Campus, Boston; 1101 Beacon St, Brookline; the Medical Care Center, Lexington; the Medical Care Center North, Chelsea and Chestnut Hill. Please see the "Schedule an Exam" page for more details.