An X-ray is a quick and pain free way to see inside your body and help diagnose many conditions.
During an X-ray, you will either be asked to lie on a table, or stand against a surface. If you’re having a certain area such as your hand, wrist or arm scanned, you may be asked to sit down on a chair and place your arm on the table.
Your radiographer will then position the X-ray machine to ensure the correct area is imaged properly. When the X-ray is taken, you will need to keep as still as possible as otherwise the image may be blurry. You may be asked to hold your breath if your chest or abdomen is being imaged.
An X-ray usually only takes a few minutes to complete.
For most X-rays you can eat and drink as normal beforehand, but occasionally you may be asked to fast for a few hours before.
If you are pregnant, or suspect you are pregnant, please tell the radiographer immediately. you may not be able to have the examination due to the small risk of radiation that could harm your unborn baby.
It is a good idea to wear loose clothing that does not contain metal such as zips or studs, and remove any jewellery beforehand.
You will be able to continue your normal daily activities, including driving, after your X-ray.
The images from your X-ray are then sent to a radiologist to examine.
An X-ray does expose you to radiation, however the dose is very small. Your consultant will discuss this with you beforehand. The dose of radiation is always kept to the minimum required.