Chest X-Ray

What is a Chest X-ray?

Chest x-ray is a radiological technique which uses ionizing radiation to produce images of the inside of the chest. A chest x-ray is used to evaluate the structures within the chest such as the lungs and heart.

A chest x-ray is used to diagnose and monitor the treatment or control of several lung diseases such as pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, and heart conditions such as heart failure, and hypertensive heart disease.

A chest x-ray is relatively fast to perform, hence very useful in emergency situations.

How is a chest x-ray performed?

To have a chest x-ray, you require little or no preparation. The X-ray technologist would ask you to take off your clothes and wear a gown during the procedure. You may also be asked to remove jewellery, eyeglasses, or any metal objects which may distort the X=ray images.

The equipment used for this procedure is a box-like apparatus which contains the X-ray film, a plate which records the X-ray images. The X-ray machine which produces the radiation is situated about six feet away.

Two views of the chest are usually taken on a chest x-ray. One from your back, and the other from your side. The technologist would position you with your hands on your hips and your chest pressed against the box-like plate. If you cannot stand, you would be positioned lying on a table.

You would be asked to hold very still and take deep breaths while the images are being taken to avoid having blurred images. The technologist usually goes behind a wall or in another room activating the X-ray machine.

The chest x-ray is a painless procedure and it is completed within 15 minutes.

How does a chest x-ray work?

X-rays are a form of radiation, they pass through most objects. Once it is aimed and passed through a certain part of the body, it can produce images of that part of the body on a photographic film.

Different parts of the body absorb radiation in different degrees. Structures in the body which allow radiation to pass through them appear grey or black on an X-ray film while other structures such as bone, which absorb much of the radiation with little passing through, appear white. Those structures which appear grey absorb a little radiation and allow much to be absorbed, while those that appear black, such as those which contain air, do not absorb any radiation.

Why is a chest X-ray performed?

Doctors recommend chest X-ray examinations if they suspect that a patient may be having a disease of their lungs or heart, or to check if they had sustained some structural abnormalities such as fracture of the ribs after an accident. These diseases often present with cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, easy fatigability,

What are the risks of a chest X-ray?

Although no radiation remains in a patient's body after a chest x-ray examination, there is a minimal  risk of cancer from exposure to too much radiation. However, the benefit of a chest X-ray outweigh the risks.

Clinics offering Chest X-Ray

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