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