Chest Radiograph
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Testing Procedure for a Chest Radiograph (X-Ray)

A patient needs no preparation for a chest x-ray. Though the body is exposed to a small amount of radiation, no pain is involved and very little risk. (However, women should inform their doctor if it is possible that they are pregnant.) The patient will be asked to remove his or her clothing, including all jewelry and other metal objects that might interfere with the x-rays, and put on a loose gown. Lead shielding is used to protect parts of the body that are not being x-rayed, such as the lower abdomen.

Most often, the machine used for producing chest x-rays is shaped like a box. Inside this apparatus will be either film or a digital recording plate. The patient will be asked to press his or her chest against the flat (and perhaps somewhat chilly)surface, positioned about 6 feet from the x-ray tube which produces the radiation.