What is CXR? CXR stands for chest x-ray. Chest x-rays are used to “see” inside of your chest area to look at your heart, lungs, blood vessels, ribs and bones of your spine. They can help determine many medical conditions including; heart enlargement or failure, pneumonia, emphysema, collapsed lung, fluid in lungs, broken ribs, cancer and many other conditions.
Chest X-Rays Before Surgery
Why Chest X-rays Are Done
Often chest x-ray are performed as a pre-operative test before surgery. It is also one of the first procedures you’ll undergo if your doctor suspects you have heart or lung disease as for many other reasons, including shortness of breath and problems with breathing, chest pain, chronic cough, fever and when a patient skin test indicates positive for tuberculosis.
What Can They Show?
Chest x-rays can show a lot. They show the condition of your lungs, cancer in the lungs, infection in the lungs, fluid in the lungs, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, size and outline of your heart and blood vessels, calcium deposits on your lungs, heart and blood vessels and much more.
What Are The Risks?
Radiation exposure is often associated with a chest x-ray but the risk is low. The smallest possible dose of radiation is used for taking chest x-rays. Additional precautions are taken by providing the patient with a protective lead apron. Women should tell their doctor and the x-ray technician if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
Do I Have To Prepare?
No advance preparation is necessary.
How Is A Chest X-Ray Taken?
When you enter the x-ray room you will be instructed to remove your clothing and jewelry from the waist up and perhaps don a gown and a lead apron. The x-ray technician will ask you to stand between the X-ray camera and the X-ray digital recorder. The will then instruct you to position your arms and body in various positions as he takes pictures and to hold your breath at times to get a clearer image. Having X-rays taken is painless.
What Happens After?
A specialist called a radiologist (a doctor specifically trained in reading and interpreting X-ray images) analyzes the images for signs of heart or lung problems or other conditions. The results of the analysis is communicated to your doctor who informs the patient and prescribes the required treatments or additional tests that may be necessary.