A chest X-ray is a picture of the chest that shows your heart, lungs, airways, blood vessels, and lymph nodes.

What is a chest X-ray?

A chest X-ray is a picture of the chest that shows your heart, lungs, airways, blood vessels, and lymph nodes.

A chest X-ray also shows the bones of your spine and chest, including your breastbone, ribs, collarbone, and the upper part of your spine. A chest X-ray is the most common imaging test used to find problems inside the chest.

Why would I need a chest X-ray?

A chest X-ray is done to:

What can I expect during my chest X-ray?

No special preparation is necessary. It is a painless process and only takes a few minutes.

While wearing a hospital gown, you will be asked to lie on an X-ray table and a technologist will help to position you properly. You will need to take off jewellery that might be in the way of the X-ray picture. You will have to hold your breath and lie very still for two to three seconds.

The X-ray machine is turned on briefly, letting a small beam of X-rays pass through your chest to create an image on special X-ray film. Two X-ray views of the chest are usually taken. One view is taken from the back; the other view is taken from the side of the body.

Tell your doctor if you are or might be pregnant. A chest X-ray usually is not done during pregnancy because the radiation could harm the fetus.

Resources

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