Will it hurt?
Absolutely not, there is no pain at all associated with a bone densitometry examination.
Is the examination safe?
With our state-of-the-art DXA scanner, bone densitometry involves an extremely small dose of radiation. How small? A typical spine scan delivers less than one-tenth the dosage of a chest X ray. As in any medical procedure, if you are pregnant, be sure to inform your physician.
Is there special preparation involved?
Unlike many other medical examinations, no special preparation is required. There are no needles, dietary restrictions, or other preparation. You should not have had a barium study or CT contrast study within one week prior to the procedure, or a nuclear medicine study within a day or two prior to the procedure. Avoid wearing clothing with snaps, zippers, or buttons.
Do I have to alter my eating habits?
This is not an examination that requires you to have an empty stomach, drink a certain amount of water, or any other such pre-examination preparation on your part.
What do I do during the examination?
Lie still. Breathe normally. Rest comfortably.
How long will the examination take?
Spine or femur measurements take approximately two to five minutes.
What will the examination determine?
The bone densitometer will measure your bone mineral density (BMD). It will also compare your measurements to a reference population based on your age, weight, sex, and ethnic background. This information will be used by your physician in making a diagnosis about your bone status and fracture risk.
Is that all there is to it?
That’s all. Your physician will take care of the rest. Relax, and enjoy the examination.
What do I do during the procedure?
Simply lie still and relax for about ten minutes. Avoid wearing clothing with snaps, zippers, or buttons.
Does insurance pay for this exam?
Although most insurances do pay for this exam, please check with your insurance company regarding coverage. HMO members may need a referral form. A prescription from your physician stating the reason for the exam is required.