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A chest X-ray is a black and white image of the chest area which shows the heart, lungs and bones of the rib cage. The chest X-ray does not show the inside of the heart, but does show its size, shape and location.

Having a chest X-ray is a painless procedure. A technologist will position X-ray film next to your chest while an X-ray machine sends small beams of X-rays that pass through the chest to create the image on the film. Images may be taken at various angles.