All you need to know about getting a private chest X-ray 

What a chest X-ray procedure involves

All you need to know about getting a private chest X-ray 

Posted on Thu Feb 22, 2024

Chest X-rays are one of the most common X-ray procedures, helping to understand heart or lung issues, as well as being used for visa applications to rule out tuberculosis. Read on to learn what a chest X-ray procedure involves.

What does a chest X-ray show? 

A chest X-ray uses a focused beam of radiation to produce images of your heart, lungs, blood vessels, airways, and the bones of your chest and spine. They can also reveal fluid in or around your lungs or air surrounding a lung. An X-ray is a quick, non-invasive test that has been used for many decades to help view some of the most vital organs. 

What can a chest X-ray diagnose? 

Chest X-rays are often among the first tests you’ll receive if you have heart or lung disease symptoms, to help find out if it’s caused by a heart or lung condition or something else. Chest pain, a chest injury or shortness of breath are also very common reasons for having a chest X-ray. Other common symptoms could be a chronic cough or a fever with other signs of infection. 

They can also help diagnose or monitor treatment for other conditions such as pneumonia, heart failure and other heart problems, or even the positioning of medical devices.  

Does a chest X-ray show lung cancer? 

Most lung tumours appear on X-rays as a white-grey mass. However, chest X-rays cannot distinguish between cancer and other conditions, such as a lung abscess.  

Ultimately, the answer is yes, they can detect signs of lung cancer, but as an X-ray only provides a two-dimensional image of the chest area, including the lungs, heart, and surrounding structures, there are limitations and therefore it is considered not definitive enough. 

How much does a private X-ray typically cost in the UK? 

According to, the cost of a private X-ray without health insurance typically costs £107 at a private hospital or clinic in the UK, although costs can go up to as high as £165. 

At Oryon Imaging, a single-view X-ray costs just £55; almost half the national average. For this affordable price, our patients get an efficient scan at our clinic in London’s renowned Harley Street medical district, as well as a copy of their scan images, which are available to view immediately after their scan, on our secure, online community, Connect

Is there any preparation required before having an X-ray? 

There is little to no preparation required for a chest X-ray. Once you are at the clinic, our radiographer will talk you through the process. You may be asked to remove any metal objects, such as jewellery or clothing with metal components that could interfere with the imaging. You may also need to wear a lead apron to protect certain parts of your body from radiation. 

What happens during a chest X-ray? 

A chest X-ray at Oryon Imaging typically consists of a single, front view of your chest. You stand with your chest against the plate of the X-ray machine and your hands on your hips, rolling your shoulders forward. The radiographer may ask you to take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. This helps your heart and lungs show up more clearly on the image. Any movement can blur the X-ray image. 

How long do X-ray results take? 

The average time patients spend in our clinic during a single region X-ray, including walk-in appointments, is half an hour. This involves being checked in, having the scan, and leaving. 

Your scan images are uploaded to Connect immediately after the scan, and we aim to send the report, completed by one of our Consultant Radiologists, to your referring clinician in one working day. To discuss your report and to find out what your next steps might be, you should make an appointment with your clinician. 

Visa X-ray is slightly different, but still as quick and easy as possible. Your report will be drawn up by one of our Consultant Radiologists, who must physically sign the report at our centre in London. This process may take longer than other reports. When it is fully signed and ready to be returned to your embassy, you can come and pick it up, or it can be mailed to you for a small fee. 

Can I get a Tuberculosis (TB) test for my visa application? 

To prevent the spread of Tuberculosis (TB), many countries, including the UK, have implemented TB screening and testing measures for visa applicants. A TB test includes a standard, single-view, front-on chest X-ray to test for the presence of TB, known as a visa X-ray. 

You can view a list of which countries are subject to the TB testing requirement here.  

We recommend you check with your embassy before booking. 

Getting a visa X-ray with Oryon Imaging is easy. You’ll need a healthcare professional (such as your GP) to write you a letter of referral for a visa chest X-ray to rule out tuberculosis.  

Can I get a private X-ray without a referral? 

To have an X-ray scan at Oryon Imaging, you must have a referral. This is to ensure you receive the most appropriate diagnostic test and suitable aftercare plan or treatment. However, we can help you get a referral.  

We offer a scan referral service, which allows you to connect with one of our trusted healthcare professionals who can provide you with a scan referral quickly and easily. You simply enter your details, and we’ll begin processing your enquiry immediately. We’ll then connect you with one of our healthcare professionals, who will get back to you in one working day with a referral, if appropriate based on your medical history. 

Oryon Imaging provides affordable private chest X-rays for visa medicals for just £75. Either contact us directly or make use of our walk-in X-ray service to book your appointment once you have your referral. 

We pride ourselves on offering affordable, high-quality private X-rays with rapid results, in the heart of London. If you require an X-ray in Central London, we are open 10am-6pm, Monday to Saturday.

For walk-in X-rays, there is no need to call or book to make an appointment, but a referral form from a healthcare practitioner is still required. Walk-ins are available from 10am-6pm, Monday to Saturday.

You can email us the referral or call us on 020 7042 1888. 

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