What it is

An X-ray is an exam that uses electromagnetic radiation to make images of your bones, teeth, and internal organs. Simply put, the technologist is taking pictures of the inside of your body. X-rays are often referred to as general radiography, and play a very important role in the diagnostic process for physicians. X-rays also do a great job of helping radiologists decide exactly what further diagnostic tests must be done before a treatment decision is made. X-rays are one of the most common procedures in diagnostic imaging.

What to expect

There isn’t a great deal of preparation that needs to take place before an X-ray. If a patient can avoid wearing clothing with metal, that always helps. However, if it’s unavoidable, you will be provided scrubs or a gown. The procedure itself only lasts between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on what part of the body is actually being examined. Following the exam there aren’t any restrictions on the patient, dietary or otherwise. Patients can return to their normal daily activities immediately. Results will be reviewed, and physicians will be provided with a report quickly.