Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) is a diagnostic tool that measures bone mineral density. This test is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones, and to assess the risk of developing osteogenesis imperfecta.
The DEXA scan is a simple and brief examination taking approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.
Prior to the scan, you will be asked to answer a few questions to help the doctor assess if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications that can affect your risk of fractures. The scan uses a tiny amount of ionizing radiation to create images of your lower spine and hips, which are the areas most commonly used to measure bone loss. DEXA is considered the current gold standard for determining bone mineral density (BMD).
DEXA scan price £225.
There are no dietary requirements, though be sure to dress comfortably with clothing that does not have any metal zips or buttons – as metal will interfere with the X-ray. If you wear a bra, this will have to be removed. A gown may be provided if necessary. Let us know if you have specific requirements, for example, wheelchair access or if you have a visual impairment or suffer from hearing loss.
When you attend your appointment, speak with the reception team who will check your appointment details and guide you to the waiting area. You may have to complete a pre-examination form depending on your particular circumstances.
- A member of staff will escort you to the changing room. Your height and weight will be checked, and you will be instructed on changing.
- The radiographer will take you through to the scanner and confirm your details.
- You will then be tied down on the scanning table, and the radiographer will position you and start the scan.
You can eat and drink normally after the scan. You can drive home afterward and return to activities. We will send your results to your referring physician, who will discuss them with you at your follow-up appointment. If this has not already been scheduled, you will need to contact them to arrange for this.
As with all X-ray examinations, there is a small amount of risk involved with ionizing radiation, equivalent to approximately two days of radiation from our natural environment or radiation expected from a short flight. Your referring doctor has decided that the risks are negligible and that the benefits of the examination are much greater. If you think you could be pregnant, please inform a member of staff.
Yes, but they may only enter the examination room in special circumstances (for health & safety reasons). There should be no discomfort during the scan. If you find positioning or the procedure uncomfortable, please tell a member of staff.