PREP: On the day of your chest x-ray, wear something comfortable that you can change out of easily. Because metal and some clothing can interfere with the accuracy of the radiograph, it is important that clothing and jewelry be removed from the area of the chest and neck. This includes bras and necklaces as well as elastic bands or barrettes in long hair. A hospital gown will be provided. Prior to your exam, a radiologic technologist will explain the procedure and answer any questions you have. If you think you are pregnant, please tell the technologist before your exam.
PURPOSE: The most common medical imaging examination is the chest x-ray. Although it is often performed as part of a routine physical, a properly positioned and exposed chest x-ray can provide a vast amount of medical information. A small amount of radiation passes through your body, producing an image of your heart and lungs. The image is recorded on special film contained within an x-ray cassette.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Once inside the x-ray room, if you are in child-bearing years, the technologist will shield you at waist level to protect your reproductive organs from direct x-ray exposure. You will be asked to stand in front of an x-ray unit that will be moved up and down to the desired position. You will roll your shoulders slightly forward and lift your chin. You then will be asked to take in a deep breath and hold it until the x-ray exposure has been made. This exposure is very short, and you may exhale after it has been made. Since any movement of your lungs may blur the x-ray it is important for you to hold your breath. If ordered by your physician, a second x-ray of the side view of your chest will be taken. You will be asked to put your left side against the x-ray unit and raise your arms up to hold a bar. You will again raise your chin and hold your breath during a short exposure.
POST EXAM INFORMATION: Your x-rays will be given to a radiologist to review. A report on the results of your x-rays will be faxed to your physician. Your physician will discuss the results with you.