X-rays

A better idea of what’s going on inside your body

X-rays provide your doctor with pictures of the inside of your body, including bones and some soft tissues. Doctors use these valuable images to diagnose a wide variety of conditions.

Overview

X-rays provide your doctor with pictures of the inside of your body, including bones and some soft tissues. Doctors use these valuable images to diagnose a wide variety of conditions.

Your X-Ray Exam

You may need to have an X-ray to diagnose a health problem ranging from a simple broken bone to internal bleeding or a heart condition.

An X-ray technologist will take clear, detailed images and keep you comfortable throughout the process. A radiologist (doctor who specializes in imaging) will examine your X-rays and work closely with your other doctors to diagnose the problem.

X-Ray Services

Specific X-ray services you might have include:

  • Bone X-ray – Checks for fractures, dislocations, bone fragments and arthritis.
  • Chest X-ray – Checks for pneumonia, emphysema, heart failure and lung cancer.
  • Upper GI X-ray – Checks for ulcers, tumors, blockages and other conditions. Requires you to drink a harmless contrast agent (barium) to highlight your stomach and other parts of your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • Lower GI X-ray – Checks for benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors and inflammatory bowel disease. Requires you to have an enema with a contrast agent (barium) to highlight your colon and other parts of your lower GI tract.

What To Expect

Your X-Ray Exam

You may need to have an X-ray to diagnose a health problem ranging from a simple broken bone to internal bleeding or a heart condition.

An X-ray technologist will take clear, detailed images and keep you comfortable throughout the process. A radiologist (doctor who specializes in imaging) will examine your X-rays and work closely with your other doctors to diagnose the problem.

X-Ray Services

Specific X-ray services you might have include:

  • Bone X-ray – Checks for fractures, dislocations, bone fragments and arthritis.
  • Chest X-ray – Checks for pneumonia, emphysema, heart failure and lung cancer.
  • Upper GI X-ray – Checks for ulcers, tumors, blockages and other conditions. Requires you to drink a harmless contrast agent (barium) to highlight your stomach and other parts of your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • Lower GI X-ray – Checks for benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors and inflammatory bowel disease. Requires you to have an enema with a contrast agent (barium) to highlight your colon and other parts of your lower GI tract.

Patient Stories for X-rays

Medline Plus

The National Institutes of Health website features an overview of X-ray imaging technology and information about specific types of X-ray exams.

RadiologyInfo.org

The Radiological Society of North America and American College of Radiology hosts information about specialized types of X-ray exams and X-ray safety.

Resources

Medline Plus

The National Institutes of Health website features an overview of X-ray imaging technology and information about specific types of X-ray exams.

RadiologyInfo.org

The Radiological Society of North America and American College of Radiology hosts information about specialized types of X-ray exams and X-ray safety.