X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of the abdomen. X-rays
pass through body tissues onto a special film similar to camera film and make a picture.
The more solid a structure is, the whiter it looks on the film. Computers and digital
media are now more commonly used instead of film. They show pictures of your internal
tissues, bones, and organs. Bone and metal show up as white on X-rays.
X-rays of the belly may be done to check the area for causes of abdominal pain. It
also be done to find an object that has been swallowed or to look for a blockage or
hole in the intestine.
Abdominal X-rays may be taken in the following positions:
- Standing up
flat with the picture made from above
- Standing with the picture made from the front
- The left
side-lying position. This may be used if you can’t stand up.
2 or more of these views are taken, the set of films may be called an obstruction
series. This series of X-rays is done to try to locate a site of a suspected blockage
the abdomen or intestine.