Abdominal X-ray:
What is it?

Abdominal X-ray:
How is it Used?

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Abdominal X-ray Overview


This test is an x-ray that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the abdomen.


The x-ray may help your doctor find the source of your problem. If the x-ray shows an abnormality, you may need more testing, which may include:

  • Ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves to visualize the inside of the body
  • Abdominal and pelvic CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the body

What to Expect

#Prior to Test

You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for four hours before your test.

You will remove your clothes and put on a hospital gown. You will also need to remove all metal items, like jewelry and watches.

Tell your doctor if you:

  • Have taken any bismuth medicines (such as Pepto-Bismol) within the last four days
  • Had a barium contrast x-ray within the last four days
  • Have an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Are pregnant or could possibly be pregnant

#Description of Test

You will lie flat on your back under the x-ray machine and remain still while the x-ray is taken. You may be asked to shift to other positions for more x-rays.

#After Test

You will be able to leave after the test is done.

#How Long Will It Take?

About 10 minutes

#Will It Hurt?




American Urological Association

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse


Canadian Health Network

The Kidney Foundation of Canada


The Merck Manual website. Available at: http://www.merck.com/mmpe/index.html .

The Patient's Guide to Medical Tests. Yale University School of Medicine; 1997.