Common Tests Explained: Chest X-Ray

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Chest X-ray takes the snap shot image of the body parts between your chest including heart, lungs, and ribs, and other bones. Chest X-Ray's takes just seconds to take the picture, and they don't hurt. Before the chest X-ray you generally undress from the waist up, and wear an exam gown, both clothing, and jewelry can obscure the x-ray image.

During the procedure you will be positioned between a machine that produces the x-ray in a plate that captures the image. You may be asked to turn side ways or other positions in order to get adequate views of your test organ. During the front or, back of view, you will stand with your back to the plate, and hold your arms up to the side.

The x-ray technician may ask you to take a deep breathe, and hold it for several seconds, just like standing for a regular camera, staying still and holding your breathe for a chest x-ray helps to create the most accurate picture. During the side views, you turn and place one shoulder on the plate and raise your hands over your head.

A radiologist will evaluate the images and let your doctor know about your result. Those with elective chest x-ray as an out patient, we'll get the results form the doctor who ordered the test.