Chest X-rays are a noninvasive diagnostic test that physicians use to get a clear picture of your heart and lungs including blood vessels, ribs and bones of the spine.
What Is a Chest X-Ray?
A chest X-ray is ordered by your physician to help diagnose certain conditions, as well as to check on your heart and lungs. X-rays are made using external radiation to produce images of the body’s bones and internal organs. When the X-ray machine is turned on, the X-rays pass through the body onto specialty plates to capture the image in black and white. Bones are dense and therefore appear white on the X-ray film, while soft tissue in the body usually appears dark grey.
During your chest X-ray, the technologist will position you next to the X-ray film for two separate pictures. For the first picture, you will stand facing a board and roll your arms forward, pushing your shoulder blades apart. The technologist will instruct you to take a deep breath and then hold it while he or she takes the picture. For the second picture, you will stand with your left side against the board and your arms raised above your head. The technologist will help place you in the exact position in order to get the clearest X-ray picture possible.
What to Expect During Your Chest X-Ray
Preparing for Your Procedure
You might be asked to change into a hospital gown prior to your chest X-ray. Make sure to remove all buttons, zippers, jewelry, bra clasps and any other kind of metal that could show up on the X-ray. Make sure to tell the technologist if you are pregnant or if there is a chance you might be pregnant before the X-ray is taken.
During Your Procedure
Follow the technologist’s instructions closely and make sure to hold completely still. X-rays do not hurt at all.
After Your Procedure
Once the technologist has taken your X-rays, you will be asked to wait a few minutes until the film is developed. This helps to ensure that the technologist took clear pictures that can be read by a radiologist.
Once you are free to go, you can resume normal daily activities. A report of the test will be sent to your physician, who will contact you to discuss your chest X-ray results.
Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital
OSU Heart & Vascular Center at Stoneridge (Dublin)
Heart & Vascular Center at OSU Carepoint Gahanna
OSU Heart Center at Martha Morehouse Medical Plaza
OSU Heart Center at University Hospital East
To schedule your appointment, please call 614-293-ROSS or 888-293-ROSS.