A chest x-ray outlines the heart, lungs, and ribs. It can be ordered when a patient’s symptoms include chest pain and/or shortness of breath. It is also used to diagnose possible heart failure by revealing the size and shape of the heart. It is the most common x-ray performed. Radiation exposure is minimal. As with any x-ray, please be sure to tell your physician if you think you might be pregnant.
Do not eat any solid foods for 4 hours prior to exam. Drink a minimum of 1 quart of water before arriving for the exam.
The patient will be asked to wear a hospital gown and remove all jewelry. They will then stand with their chest pressed against a photographic plate. The technologist taking the x-rays will ask the patient to be still and hold their breath. This helps produce a clear, better quality image. The technologist will go into another room to activate the equipment. A beam of x-rays will come from behind the patient, through the patient’s chest and onto the film plate. The technologist will remove the film and put new one in. The same test will be used with the patient standing sideways. There is no discomfort but the film plate may feel cold.
The films will be viewed by a Radiologist, a physician specializing in x-ray, who interprets the results.
For more information on chest x-rays, please call: