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What is an X-ray?

An X-ray is a form of radiation that can be focused into a beam that can pass through most objects. Dense structures in your body, such as bones, absorb many of the X-rays and appear white on an X-ray picture. Less dense structures in your body, such as muscles and organs like your lungs, absorb fewer of the X-rays and therefore appear in shades of gray on an X-ray picture. Structures in the body that do not absorb any X-rays appear black on an X-ray picture.

How is an X-ray performed?
You will be instructed about what to wear to your appointment, what to eat before the test, how the test will be performed, and how the test will feel.

The technologist positions you on the X-ray table. When necessary, positioning devices may be used to help you maintain proper position. A lead apron may be placed over your pelvic area or breasts when necessary to protect you from radiation. You must stay very still and you may be asked to stop breathing for a few seconds while the X-ray pictures are being taken.

How do I schedule an X-ray?
X-rays can be performed at Sacred Heart Hospital and Sacred Heart Imaging Northampton, an affiliate of Sacred Heart HealthCare System.

Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Walk-ins are welcome.

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