| Reasons for Test
| Possible Complications
| What to Expect
| Call Your Doctor
X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the inside of the body.
X-ray of Teeth
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Reasons for Test
X-rays can be taken of any part of the body. They are especially good for looking at injuries to bones.
X-rays can also be used to:
- Find an infection
- Locate tumors
- Look for fluid in the lungs
- Look for problems in the abdomen
- Diagnose heart and large blood vessel problems
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 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.
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
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 medical help right away.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Brian Randall, MD
All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2008 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.