DEXA Scan stands for “Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry” and
provides a technological approach to maintaining bone health. It is one
of the most accurate ways to diagnose Osteopenia or Osteoporosis. By measuring
the density of bones, we can help a woman take proactive steps against
osteoporosis or other bone-related conditions.
What is a Bone Density Scan (DEXA)?
DEXA is an enhanced form of X-ray technology that is used to measure bone
loss. DEXA is today's established standard for measuring bone mineral
An X-ray (radiograph) is a painless medical test that helps doctors diagnose
and treat medical conditions. Radiography involves exposing a part of
the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of
the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used
form of medical imaging.
DEXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips.
Before your scan
- On the day of the exam you may eat normally.
- You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam.
- You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments that have
zippers, belts or buttons made of metal.
- You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown
during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses
and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the X-ray images.
- Inform your physician if you recently had a barium examination or have
been injected with a contrast material for a computed tomography (CT)
scan or radioisotope scan. You may have to wait 10 to 14 days before undergoing
a DEXA scan.
- Women should always inform their doctor or technologist if there is any
possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed
during pregnancy because radiation can be harmful to the fetus. If an
x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure
to the baby.
During your scan
The technologist will position you on a scanning table with your knees
elevated with a cushion, and the machine will move slowly over your spine
and hip. There is no pain involved and it is very quick.
After your scan
The technologist will not be able to give you any results; however, your
doctor should receive the results within 1 – 2 business days.
Bone Health Class
Our Bone Health Class is dedicated to providing women with the most up-to-date
research information and education in the prevention, early detection
and treatment of bone disease in women. The class also includes dietary
information, safe movement, balance and injury prevention. A Personal
risk assessment will be conducted.
The class is taught by certified, specialized registered nurses.
Classes are held at Mission Women’s Wellness Center and are free.
Please call (877) 459-3627 for more information or to schedule your class.