What Happens During an X-ray?

The x-ray test is done in a hospital’s radiology or urology department, or in a health care provider's office. A radiology technician usually takes the x-ray, with guidance from a doctor.

You may be asked to remove parts of your clothing and jewelry to create a clear image. Depending on the type of test, you may be asked to stand, lie down, sit or assume a combination of these positions. A lead shield may be used to cover parts of your body. This shield can absorb some x-rays and protect areas of your body that are not being imaged. You may be asked to stay still and hold your breath for a few seconds at different stages of the test.

Most x-rays are simple and take only a few minutes. Results can be seen and discussed right away. Sometimes, more complex x-rays are needed. These tests can last anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours.