An x-ray is a beam of energy that can go through body tissues to take a picture of the inside of your body. They are used to find broken bones and to diagnose and help treat diseases of bone and other organs.

The films created by x-ray show the different tissues of the body in various shades of gray. Because bones are dense, they show up as light or white areas on the film. X-rays are painless and expose you to low levels of radiation not considered dangerous to most people. Pregnant women, however, should not have an x-ray unless a doctor feels it is absolutely necessary.

Before the Test
Be certain to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you have an IUD (Intrauterine Device for Contraception). You should remove all jewelry and metal objects.

During the Test
The technologist will position you under an x-ray tube to take the image. It is important to hold still so that the image will be sharp and clear.

After the Test
Your doctor or a radiologist will talk with you about the results of the exam and help answer any questions you may have.