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When an X-ray is taken, radiation is used to create a two-dimensional view of the inside of the body. X-rays can be taken of any part of the body. Usually, two or more X-rays will be taken of a specific body part from different directions to give the radiologist more information.
X-rays show the bones, fluids and air in the body. They are also good for looking at foreign objects in or on the body.
The X-ray machine is like a large camera. It shines a light on the part of the body to be examined. The room will be dim so the technologist can see the light. You can see it too. The light is how the technologist aims the beam.
Depending on the part of the body being viewed, and age of the patient, X-rays may be performed with the patient standing, sitting or lying down. Patients in the hospital may even have X-rays done in their bed with a portable X-ray machine.
At Cincinnati Children’s, X-rays (and other imaging exams) are processed by computers. They are viewed and stored in a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS).
Dress your child in comfortable clothes that are free of metal (zippers, eyelets, buttons). A gown will be provided if the patient’s clothing interferes with the pictures.
Check in at the radiology front desk; after 6 pm, check in at the “radiology wait2” area.
Unless your child’s physician instructs you otherwise, your child should be able to resume normal activities immediately.
The results of the X-rays are sent to the ordering doctor. Your child’s physician will discuss the findings with you.
Have a question or comment about X-rays? Visit our contact page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the effects of radiology tests and medical radiation.
Learn more about specific X-ray tests in our Health Topics section.
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