What is an X-ray?

An X-ray is a quick and painless procedure commonly used to produce images of the inside of the body, much like a photograph.   X-rays are a type of radiation that can pass through the body. They can't be seen by the naked eye and you can't feel them.

When X-rays are used

X-rays can be used to examine most areas of the body. They're mainly used to look at the bones and joints, although they're sometimes used to detect problems affecting soft tissue, such as internal organs.

X-rays can also be used to guide doctors or surgeons during certain procedures. For example, during an angioplasty – a procedure to widen narrowed arteries – X-rays can be used to help guide a catheter (a long, thin, flexible tube) along one of your arteries.

Preparing for an X-ray

You don't usually need to do anything special to prepare for an X-ray.  However, you may need to stop taking certain medications and avoid eating and drinking for a few hours if you're having an X-ray that uses a contrast agent eg Barium.  Your appointment letter will mention anything you need to do to prepare.

For all X-rays, you should let the hospital know if you're pregnant. X-rays aren't usually recommended for pregnant women unless it's an emergency.

It's a good idea to wear loose comfortable clothes, as you may be able to wear these during the X-ray. Try to avoid wearing jewellery and clothes containing metal (such as zips), as these will need to be removed.

Having an X-ray

During an X-ray, you'll usually be asked to lie on a table or stand against a flat surface so that the part of your body being examined can be positioned in the right place.

The X-ray machine, which looks like a tube containing a large light bulb, will be carefully aimed at the part of the body being examined by the radiographer. They will operate the machine from behind a screen or from the next room.  While the X-ray is being taken, you'll need to keep still so the image produced isn't blurred. More than one X-ray may be taken from different angles to provide as much information as possible.  The procedure will usually only take a few minutes.

What happens after an X-ray

The results will go back to the doctor or GP that referred you for your X-ray.

How to access the service

Site

Contact

Opening times

Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital

01254 263555

Open Access - No booking required
Monday and Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm

Tuesday 1pm - 4.30pm

Wednesday 8.30am - 7.30pm
Thursday 1.00pm - 7.30pm

Burnley General Teaching Hospital

01282 804090

Open Access - No booking required
Monday to Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm

Rossendale Primary Health Care Centre

01706 235336
Monday-Friday
8.30am - 4.30pm

Patients to ring to book an appointment
Monday to Friday 9am - 4.30pm

Pendle Community Hospital

01706 235336
Monday-Friday
8.30am - 4.30pm

Patients to ring to book an appointment
Monday 1.30pm - 4.30pm,

Tuesday 9am - 4.30pm
Wednesday and Thursday 9.00am - 12.30pm

Clitheroe Community Hospital

01706 235336
Monday-Friday
8.30am - 4.30pm

Patients to ring to book an appointment
Monday and Thursday
9am - 4.30pm

Accrington Victoria Hospital

01254 359208

Open Access - No booking required
Monday to Friday 9.15am - 4.30pm
Or pre-bookable appointments available
Monday to Friday 5pm - 8pm

Barbara Castle Way Health Centre, Blackburn

01254 617370

Open Access - No booking required
Monday to Friday
9am - 12noon and 1pm - 4.30pm

Service Lead

Carol Wood

Key staff

Burnley General Hospital: Lyndsay Couch

Royal Blackburn Hospital: Jenna Shuttleworth

Interventional: Naomi Hodgkinson