A chest X-ray uses a focused beam of radiation to look at your heart, lungs and bones. Chest X-rays are quick, noninvasive tests. Chest X-rays require little to no preparation. When you get ready for the appointment, wear loose, comfortable clothing that does not contain metal (zippers, snaps, bra closures) and leave jewelry at home.


What are the risks of a chest X-ray?

X-rays use a very small amount of radiation. The risks are minimal for adults. Lower radiation X-rays can be used in smaller children to minimize the risk in that population.


Is a chest X-ray safe if I am pregnant?

Always tell your healthcare provider if there is a possibility that you are pregnant. Radiation exposure can cause damage to a developing baby. In general, the amount of radiation used for simple chest x-rays is so small that it's considered safe during pregnancy, but your healthcare provider will help make the decision to do the x-ray based on the urgency of your symptoms.