What is an X-Ray?
Video: How X-rays work
Radiography involves exposing part of the body to a small dose of radiation to produce an image of the body's internal structures. When X-rays penetrate the body they are absorbed in different amounts depending on the density of the tissue. For example, bone absorbs more of the X-rays and appears white on the film. Lung tissue absorbs very little of the X-rays and appears dark on the film.
An X-ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. It is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bone, joint or spine injuries. It is also a good way to evaluate the lungs, heart and chest wall.
How should I prepare for the procedure?
There is no special preparation required for most X-rays. You might be instructed to remove any clothing with metal on it, as well as metal objects such as jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, hearing aids and any removable dental work that would interfere with the X-ray. Female patients should tell the technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.
What will I experience during an x-ray?
This will depend on the type of X-ray you are having. Some patients will be asked to stand while others are asked to lie down on a hard table or sit in a chair. The technologist will help position you for one or many pictures, depending on the area being imaged. X-rays are painless.