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X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the inside of the body. Bone imaging helps doctors:

  • Find an infection, especially pneumonia
  • Look for evidence of arthritis
  • Diagnose heart and large blood vessel problems
  • Look for fluid in the lungs
  • Look for problems in the abdomen
  • Find tumors

Are X-rays Safe?

An X-ray uses radiation to make images. The low levels of radiation from a single X-ray will not affect most people. A lead shield may be placed on parts of your body that are not being X-rayed. This will help reduce your exposure to radiation.If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, then talk to your doctor before the X-ray. Radiation may be harmful to developing babies.

Getting an X-ray

Before your X-ray is taken, you may be asked to remove jewelry and put on a hospital gown.

The X-ray Test

The X-ray device will be placed over the part of your body being studied. You will be asked to remain as still as possible while the images are taken. The X-ray device will send X-rays through your body. The X-rays will be captured on the other side of your body by a computer or on film.

The process will only take a few minutes. It will not hurt. You will be able to resume your daily activities after the X-ray is complete. 

Getting Your Results   

You can see your results in MyChart, but will need to discuss with your doctor.

Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.