Chest X Ray – Preparation, Procedure, Risks

A chest X-ray is one of the simplest tests to be performed. It is not only painless but also non invasive. Your doctor will recommend chest X-ray to get detailed images of internal structures such as lungs, heart and blood vessels.

A chest X-ray assists in the diagnosis of conditions like pneumonia, chronic cough, chest pain,

shortness of breath, etc.

Preparation for Chest X Ray

You may follow the below mentioned points in order to prepare for Chest X ray.

                     Wear loose clothes like T-Shirt that can be easily taken off as you will be asked to undress from the waist up and wear a gown.

                     Avoid wearing metallic objects such as jewellery, eye glasses, belts, etc; while going for the chest X-ray. It is required so that there is no interference between metals and X-ray Image.

                     Inform the X-ray technician about any body piercings done by you on your chest.

                     Inform the doctor if you are pregnant as X ray test are usually avoided during pregnancy.

Chest X Ray Procedure

A Chest X ray procedure is performed by an X-ray technician and total time duration of the test is usually 15 minutes.

                     You will be taken to the X-ray room, and asked to undress from the waist up and wear gown.

                     You may be asked to stand, sit, or lie for the chest x ray as directed by your doctor. You need not worry as the technician will assist in maintaining correct position.

                     You will be covered with heavy lead apron for protecting your other body parts from radiation.

                     The X-ray technician will operate the X-ray machine and takes two view of the chest including back view and side view.

                     Back view: You need to sit or stand for resting your chest against the image plate. The x-ray tube is placed behind you.

                     Side view: You need to stand side ways and keep your arms above your head.

                     In case, you will be asked to lie down, you will need to lie down on table with X-ray tube located over the table.

                     During the procedure of taking X-rays images; you are required to remain still and hold your breath for a few seconds.

                     After the images are taken, they are checked by X-ray technician for their quality. The procedure is repeated if the quality of images is not good enough.

·         After the procedure

                     You may go home after the test and resume your normal activities. A radiologist will analyze the X-rays and prepare a report.

                     You may obtain your reports and show them to your doctor. Your doctor will observe the X-rays images and discuss the results with you.

Risks of Chest X Ray

Although the amount of radiation in Chest X-ray test is very small, it carries few risks.

During the procedure, patient is provided with a lead apron for protecting certain body parts from the harmful effects of radiation.