DEXA scans use low energy x-rays to measure bone density.
Commonly asked questions about DEXA scans
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.
Yes, we require a referral from your GP or a medical specialist in order to make an appointment for you.
Please let us know if:
- you have had a barium study, CT scan, MRI, angiogram or nuclear medicine examination recently. This may affect when we schedule your booking.
- your weight is 120kg or more
- you cannot stand or require a wheelchair and cannot transfer independently
- there is any chance you may be pregnant
- 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.
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 and your examination will take about 15-30 minutes, but this may vary.
The radiologist’s report is automatically forwarded to your referring doctor. Please return to your doctor to discuss examination results.