DEXA (Bone Density)


What is DEXA and how does it work?


DEXA (Bone Density) DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) or bone densitometry uses low strength X-rays to measure the density and mineral content of your bones. The amount of X-ray used is very small - less than one-tenth of what is used in a chest X-ray. This test is a valuable tool for diagnosing osteoporosis, which often has no symptoms until you suffer a fracture. DEXA can diagnose the disease at its earliest stages, which means you can begin receiving treatment to protect your bones sooner.


How do you prepare for your DEXA scan?


• Please arrive at least 20 minutes before your appointment and bring your referral. If you need to reschedule or cancel, call 24 hours in advance.

• Let us know what medications you take, including non-prescription medicines and supplements. You may take Fosamax and multivitamins before your exam.

• Tell us if you are or may be pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.

• Do not take any calcium supplements for 24 hours before your exam.

• If you have had an X-ray that used any contrast material (dye) or a nuclear medicine study, schedule your DEXA exam at least one week after those tests.

• At most centers, if you weigh more than 300 pounds, only your forearm will be scanned.


What should you bring to your procedure?


• Prescription or referral from your physician

• List of medications you take

• Insurance cards

• Medical history


What will you experience during your DEXA scan?


Upon arrival 

• A technologist will take you to the exam room, ask you some medical questions, and explain what you can expect during your test. 

• You will need to remove any metal or plastic from the part of your body being examined and change into a gown.


During your DEXA exam 

• Depending on whether your hip, spine, or wrist is being scanned, you will either lie on a table or sit in a chair. You may lie with your legs straight or with your lower legs resting on a platform to elevate them slightly. 

• The scan will take about 30 minutes.


After your DEXA scan

• You can leave immediately after your DEXA scan. 

• The radiologist will review your scans and send the results to your physician.


To schedule an appointment, call (888) 601-0943 or click here

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