What is DEXA?
DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) examinations estimate the amount of bone mineral content in specific areas of your body. DEXA utilizes two types of X-Rays that allow the Radiologist to make an estimation of bone density by showing the difference between bone and soft tissue.
While DEXA uses x-rays, the radiation dose is less than during a chest x-ray. It is a painless exam that requires no injections, invasive procedures, sedation, special diet or any other advance preparation.
DEXA and Osteoporosis
Nearly 10 million Americans have osteoporosis; a bone disease that greatly increases the risk of bone fracture. Risk factors for osteoporosis include:
- 65 years of age or older
- History of broken bones since turning age 50
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Infrequent exercise and poor nutrition
- Being underweight for your height
- Other medical/health conditions and/or certain medications that increase the risk of bone loss
DEXA is a critical screening technique in both the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, as well as for other conditions that cause bone loss. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors for osteoporosis and the importance of DEXA screening.
What to Expect
A DEXA exam usually consists of a spine and a single hip scan. It will take about 20 minutes to perform the exam. Our technician will ask you to lie very still on the scan table and breathe normally as the scanner passes over the areas being evaluated. After the exam is complete you will be able to return to your normal activities.
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time with all applicable insurance cards/information.
- Do not wear metal.
- Avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 2 hours prior to your appointment.
- Bring any materials given to you by your Referring Physician for your appointment (comparison films, requisition forms, etc).
- All consent and privacy forms will need to be signed prior to the exam and medical history will be reviewed.
- Payment is expected at the time of your exam.