Diagnostic X-ray

X-ray is a well-established technology that uses minimal doses of radiation to capture images of bone and high density tissue in the body. An X-ray machine will be used to take an image of the area of interest inside your body (chest X-ray, abdominal X-ray, extremity/bone X-ray, etc.).

Routine (Skeletal) X-Rays are used to diagnose and monitor the treatment of broken and fractured bones and injuries to the joints and spine. When X-rays are taken, dense structures such as bones absorb more of their high-energy beams than do skin, muscles, and other soft tissues and therefore appear light gray or white against a dark background.

What to Expect for a Routine X-Ray

  • If  you are told to pre-register for your appointment, call 978-937-6429, Monday-Friday, 7:00am-8:00pm or anytime online at Express Registration. An appointment reminder with specific instructions for your exam will be mailed to you. 
  • Please remember to keep a written order from your physician to bring to the exam.
  • Obtain copies of any recent films/CD from X-ray exams or scans performed at other facilities and bring them to your exam.
  • Women should alert their physicians if there is any chance they are pregnant. Although X-rays during pregnancy are generally not considered a serious risk, your physician may advise rescheduling the exam if it's not medically necessary at this time.

No special preparations are necessary.

X-ray tests are fast, easy, and painless. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown and to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, or other metal objects. If a medical condition or an injury prevents you from standing comfortably, the X-ray technologist will help you find an alternative position. After the procedure, you will be asked to wait briefly while the technologist determines whether the images are satisfactory. If the X-rays are blurry or unclear, new pictures will be taken.

A radiologist will review the final images and send a full report to your physician, who will discuss the results with you.


In addition to imaging services at the main hospital, diagnostic X-rays, including skeletal and chest X-rays, are available without an appointment at our Lowell General Hospital's Chelmsford Campus Location.

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