An X-ray is an imaging procedure that uses low doses of radiation to help diagnose disease or injury. Doctors use X-rays more than any other form of imaging. Using X-rays we can create a still, two-dimensional image of bones, lungs and other organs, air inside the body, and metal objects. X-Rays are useful in diagnosing conditions such as fractured bones, arthritis, pneumonia, bowel obstruction, and in locating foreign objects in the body. Since X-rays do not image most soft tissues in the body well, doctors use other imaging tests such as MRI and ultrasound to diagnose conditions that affect soft tissue organs and structures.

To create an X-ray image we use X-rays—invisible beams of energy that pass through the body. We use an X-ray machine that directs the rays at the part of the body to be examined. The X-rays pass through the area imaged and are transmitted to a "detector", creating an image of the inside of the body part being examined. Bones contain calcium, a mineral that absorbs X-rays, so these show up as white on the image.

ColumbiaDoctors Radiology provides X-ray services on a walk-in basis in several convenient Manhattan and Westchester locations.

How do I prepare for the test?

No special preparation is needed for an X-ray. You may be asked to change into a gown when you arrive at the X-ray site.

What will happen during the test?

Depending on the part of the body to be examined we will ask you to lie on the X-ray table in a specific position. We will cover other parts of your body with a lead apron to protect it from unnecessary exposure to radiation. We may ask you to be very still during the several seconds during which we make the image, and we make take more than one image of the part of the body being evaluated.

Are there any risks?

Although this is an X-ray based exam, you will be exposed to minimal doses of diagnostic radiation.

After the test

A radiologist will analyze the X-ray images and will share the results with the doctor who requested the exam. Your doctor will then discuss the results with you.