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Abdominal (KUB) X-ray

Abdominal X-ray is a commonly performed diagnostic examination that produces images of the organs in the abdominal cavity, including the stomach, liver, intestines and spleen.

When an abdominal X-ray is performed to provide pictures of the kidneys, ureters and bladder, it is called a KUB X-ray.

What to Bring

  • Your medical provider order (Your medical provider may have already sent this to us.)
  • Personal identification
  • Insurance card(s)

How to Prepare for Your Abdominal X-ray

  • An abdominal X-ray requires no special preparation.
  • You will be asked to remove some of your clothing and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the X-ray images. We encourage you to leave valuable jewelry at home.
  • You should inform your X-ray technologist if you have had a barium sulfate contrast material X-ray or if you have taken any medicines such as Pepto Bismol® in the past few days, as they may interfere with the X-ray.
  • You will be asked to empty your bladder before the test.
  • Women should inform their X-ray technologist if they have an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted for pregnancy prevention.
  • Women should always inform their X-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. An abdominal X-ray is usually not performed on pregnant women so as not to negatively impact fetal development. The ovaries and uterus cannot be shielded during the abdominal X-ray because of their location.
  • If you have an on-body device (insulin pumps, insulin regulators, Neulasta, other chemo pumps, etc.), you must inform your X-ray technologist. These devices cannot be in the X-ray room during your exam.

What to Expect

  • The imaging technologist will position you on the X-ray table. You may be asked to wear a lead shield to help protect certain parts of your body. The X-ray machine will be positioned over your abdominal area.
  • You must hold very still, and may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds while the X-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. The technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the X-ray machine.
  • The technologist may ask you to lie on your side or to stand up for additional images. The standing position will allow the radiologist to see if there are any blockages or perforations in your digestive tract.
  • The entire abdominal X-ray examination, from positioning to obtaining and verifying the images, is usually completed within 15-20 minutes.

Key Points to Know During and After the Exam

  • An abdominal X-ray examination is painless.
  • You may experience discomfort from the cool temperature in the examination room or the hardness of the X-ray table. You may find that the positions you need to hold are uncomfortable, especially if you have an injury.
  • The technologist will assist you in finding the most comfortable position possible to ensure diagnostic image quality.
  • Follow-up examinations may be necessary. Sometimes a follow-up exam is done because a potential abnormality needs further evaluation with additional views. In some cases, your medical provider will request that a special technique be performed that would only be done upon request.


Call North Oaks Scheduling between 7 am and 5:30 pm.
Hammond: (985) 230-7777
Livingston: (225) 686-4899

If you are a provider and need to send an order, please send it via fax to (985) 230-6781.