Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) or bone densitometry, 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 density (BMD).
DEXA is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often effects women after menopause but may also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, as well as structural changes, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to fracture.
Southwest X-Ray’s OnePass Technology Hologic Discovery T system is powered by the exclusive OnePass T technology. Their single sweep scan takes minutes to complete and delivers unparalleled precision resulting in superior image quality and data stability.
In preparation for your exam
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. Objects such as keys or wallets that would be in the area being scanned should be removed.
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, dentures, eyeglasses 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 test.
Women should always inform their physician and x-ray technologist if there is any possibility they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.