The general examination for chest is PA (posterior anterior) and the lateral (LAT) chest X-ray. Both films are read together for a proper analysis. The PA exam is done in the view of the patient as if standing with their right side towards your left side. While in the lateral view they face to their left side. In case, you have a previous X-ray, then they are displayed right next to the new films and examined together to see the difference and diagnose accordingly. The PA chest view is considered as the primary viewed but, LAT radiography is more often used for viewing the retrocardiac and retrosternal airspace, including the posterior structures of the lungs, as this view is obstructed in the PA X-ray.
There is not much preparation for an X-ray. Still there are few points to remember, like: You will be required to remove your clothes and wear an examination gown. Do not wear any jewelry, dentures, eyeglasses or any metal object or any clothes that could hinder the X-Ray view. If you are pregnant, then you should inform your technician. The radiation from the X-Ray is harmful to the unborn child, so the baby does not come in contact with the rays. In case, the X-ray is important, the technician will take the required precautions for the safety of your baby.
The X-Ray examination is done to evaluate any abnormalities in the heart, chest wall and lungs.
Two views are required during an X-ray examination. One is of the patient's back and the other is on the side, with the patient standing in front of an image plate. The X-ray examination is performed by a trained technician or doctor who is specially trained in performing radiological investigations. The technician positions the patient to keep their hands on their hips with their chest pressed the X-Ray plate. In the second image, the patient is told to stand sideways of the plate with elevated arms. Patients who have a problem with standing can get their X-rays done lying down. During the X-Ray procedure, it is vital for you to keep still. In some cases, you might be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds, so the image is clear. The technician goes into an adjacent room or behind a wall to run the machine. On completing the examination, you will have to wait for the technician to confirm if the images are clear and as per the doctor's requirements.