This x-ray creates an image of the lungs, heart, ribs, and other structures in the chest.
A chest X-ray uses a small dose of radiation to create an image of the lungs, heart, ribs, and other structures of the chest. Your healthcare provider may order a chest X-ray to find the cause of symptoms such as chronic cough, shortness of breath or chest pain. Two important points to remember:
Previously, a chest X-ray was performed as part of a preventive visit for adults, or as part of lung cancer screening in smokers and former smokers. However, the US Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend a chest X-ray be done for these purposes.
Also, a chest X-ray was considered a routine part of a pre-operative examination. However, in most cases, a chest X-ray is no longer done for this purpose.
Here are some things you should know before having an X-ray.
Be sure to tell the technician if you are, or could be, pregnant. The exposure from a single X-ray has not been associated with harmful effects to an unborn baby, but precautions should be taken.
In some cases, other imaging studies may be appropriate (such as an ultrasound or MRI).
You'll need to stay still during the test, so the technician can take a clear image.
The technician may ask you to move into other positions, so he or she can take different images.
The costs for this test include the charge for the test (facility charge) and physician charges (for performing or interpreting the test). You may get separate bills from the facility and the physician's office.
What should I ask my health care provider before having this test?
Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear steps to follow.)
What is the reason for the test? Are the test results likely to change my treatment plan? If not, why do I need the test?
Is this test being done as part of a preventive visit, or because I am a smoker or former smoker? If so, why is this X-ray being done when the US Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend it?
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