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Abdominal X-ray
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Abdominal X-ray Overview

Written by FoundHealth.


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

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?



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



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.



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