The Osteoporosis Service provides Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning, used to measure bone density, for men and women over 65 who have risk factors or a diagnosis of Osteopenia or Osteoporosis.
What is the purpose of a DEXA scan?
- A DEXA scan is a special type of X-ray that measures bone mineral density (BMD). DEXA stands for "dual energy X-ray absorptiometry". This type of scan may also be called: a DXA scan or a bone density scan and is a means of measuring bone mineral density (BMD). A DEXA scan is typically used to diagnose and monitor osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.
- A DEXA scan is more effective than normal X-rays in identifying low bone mineral density.
Are DEXAs safe?
- As well as being quick and painless, a DEXA scan is more effective than normal X-rays in identifying low bone mineral density. The amount of radiation used is extremely small—less than one-tenth the dose of a standard chest x-ray, and less than a day's exposure to natural radiation. X-rays usually have no side effects in the typical diagnostic range for this exam.
DEXA scan procedure
- Below is a list of what to expect during your scan.
- On arrival to the unit you will be greeted by a member of staff who will inform the scan operator of your arrival.
- You do not have to fast for this scan.
- Normally you do not have to undress for this scan but jeans and clothes with metal buttons should be avoided.
- Your weight and height will be taken and recorded.
- During the scanning you will be asked to lie on your back and to keep as still as possible.
- Throughout the scanning procedure a member of staff will remain in the room with you.
- The whole procedure takes approximately 15 minutes but normally a questionnaire is filled in and discussed with you at the time of the scan so 30 minutes is allocated to each appointment.
- The images taken will be assessed to ensure all the information required has been successfully obtained prior to your departure.
- You will be given information and the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.
Obtaining your DEXA scan results
- Normally the results are sent to your GP or referring Consultant with 10 days of the scan being obtained.
- How do I contact the department?
- The unit can be contacted by telephone on (01481) 725241 ex 4709.
- What if I miss my appointment?
- Contact the unit as soon as possible and another appointment will be made for you - (01481) 725241 ex 4709.
- Where is the unit located?
- The osteoporosis unit is not located within the x-ray department.
- We are located in the part of the hospital where Bulstrode Oncology Unit, Brock, Carey and Le Marchant wards are.
- We are located on the ground floor in the Day Assessment unit.
- National Osteoporosis Society helpline - 0808 800 0035
- National Osteoporosis Society - www.nos.org.uk
- Local osteoporosis Support group helpline - 07781 464213