This investigation is available at The Alfred only. This information is for patients attending Alfred Health Radiology.
What is a DEXA scan?
DEXA scans use low energy x-rays to measure bone density. Two different energies are used to distinguish between bone and soft tissue. Bone density can be measured in the lower spine, femur and the forearm.
DEXA scans of the spine and hip are routinely used to diagnose and monitor osteoporosis and its treatment or other conditions that cause bone loss.
What preparation is required for a DEXA scan?
- If you have been referred by your doctor and would like to make a booking, please contact Radiology at our Alfred site:
- 03 9076 0357 (The Alfred DEXA appointments)
- Please inform the booking clerk if you have had a barium study, CT scan, MRI, angiogram or nuclear medicine examination recently. This may affect when we schedule your booking.
- Please inform the booking clerk if your weight is 120kg or more.
- Please inform the booking clerk if you cannot stand or require a wheelchair and cannot transfer independently.
- Please inform the booking clerk if there is any chance you may be pregnant.
- Please inform the booking clerk if you are less than 20 years old
- You can eat and drink normally before your scan, but please do not take any calcium supplements on the day of your DEXA exam as this can interfere with the scan results.
- If you have received an appointment letter in the mail please complete the enclosed questionnaire and bring it with you to your appointment. This gives us information to help us correctly analyse and interpret your results.
- You will need to wear light comfortable clothing without buttons, metal zips, buckles or hooks around the waist and hip area. No underwire bras.
What happens during a DEXA scan?
- During the scan you will need to lie flat on the padded table.
- The machine will pass slowly over the area to be scanned. Each scan takes several minutes to complete.
- The radiographer stays in the room with you during the scan.
- Your examination will take about 15-30 minutes, but this may vary.
What happens after a DEXA scan?
- The radiologist’s report is automatically forwarded to your doctor.
- Please return to your doctor to discuss examination results.