Get your X-ray test at a convenient Montage Health location near you on the Monterey Peninsula.

What is an X-ray?

X-rays are a type of radiation. During an X-ray test, a machine focuses the radiation into a beam that passes through body tissues. Bones and other dense structures absorb the light, showing up as white areas on the images. Muscles and organs usually appear in gray.

Walk-in X-rays

If you think you need an X-ray right away, walk in to a MoGo Urgent Care location or Community Imaging Center for onsite, same-day testing.

Types of X-ray exams

Your doctor may order one of these types of tests that use X-rays to look at certain areas of the body:

  • Arthrogram (joints)
  • Barium enema (colon, or large intestine)
  • Barium swallow, or upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract (mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach)
  • General X-ray (many parts of the body)

Barium is a white liquid that coats your digestive tract to make it show up better during a fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray test that shows real-time, moving images. Learn more about gastroenterology at Montage Health.

Before your X-ray

Tell your care team if you:

  • Are sick
  • Could be pregnant
  • Have a history of asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or a thyroid gland condition

How to prepare

To help make sure you get accurate test results, you should:

  • Follow any instructions you receive on fasting (avoiding food or drink) before the X-ray
  • Leave jewelry, hairpins, watches, or any accessories with metal at home. If you wear glasses or hearing aids, you may need to remove them before the exam
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your X-ray. You may receive a gown to change into for the test

Contrast dye

Depending on the type of X-ray, you may receive a special dye to make certain areas of the body show up more clearly in the pictures. You might swallow this dye or get it through an intravenous (IV) line. Shortly afterward, you may feel warm or have a metallic taste in your mouth for a few minutes.

During your test

You’ll likely sit or lie down for your exam. The X-ray machine may move around you, or the exam table may move under the machine.

After an X-ray

After most X-ray tests, you can get back to your daily activities right away. But if you had a sedative (relaxation medicine) before your exam, you’ll receive special instructions for taking care of yourself.

Radiation safety

Count on us to keep you or your child safe by using as little radiation as possible. Montage Health imaging locations follow the American College of Radiology’s Image Gently and Image Wisely guidelines to:

  • Avoid unnecessary imaging tests
  • Use no more radiation than necessary for high-quality images

Getting test results

If you have an online MyChart account, you’ll likely see your test results in the patient portal within 24 hours. Your doctor will call to explain them and discuss next steps. Wait until you talk to your doctor before trying to understand what they mean.

Talk to your doctor

You’ll need a healthcare provider’s referral to receive radiology and imaging services from Montage Health. Once you have a doctor’s order, call (831) 649-7231 to schedule your test.

Sign up for MyChart

Manage your health easily and securely through our free MyChart patient portal. You can:

  • Access medical records, test results, and test prep instructions
  • Contact your care team
  • Get cost estimates
  • Pay bills

Sign up

Learn more about MyChart

Related locations

Choose an imaging location near you in Monterey County to see its available tests and hours of operation. Some locations offer convenient, extended hours for MRI and ultrasound exams.