DEXA (Bone Densitometry) Scans
DEXA scanning at Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) is offered for adults. DEXA scanning can be useful for detecting bone loss or osteoporosis.
What is a DEXA scan?
Bone densitometry, using an advance technology called DEXA (short for dual energy s-ray absorbiometry), safely, accurately and painlessly measures bone density and the mineral content of bone. During a DEXA scan, the patient lies comfortably still on a padded table while the DEXA unit scans or more areas, usually the fracture prone spine or the hip.
Are you at risk?
- Light skinned.
- Thin or small framed.
- Approaching or past menopause.
- Milk intolerant or have a low calcium intake.
- A cigarette smoker or drink alcohol in excess.
- Taking thyroid medication or steriod-based drugs for asthma, arthritis or cancer.
Do you have...?
- A family history of osteoporosis.
- Chronic intestinal disorders.
- A sedentary lifestyle.
Your chances of developing osteoporosis are greater if you are female and answer yes to any of these questions.
DEXA scans are performed on an outpatient basis. Preparation for a DEXA scan includes:
- Unless instructed otherwise by your provider, eat normally on the day of the exam; but avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Sweat suits and other casual attire without zippers, buttons, grommets or any metal are preferred.
- You should not have a had a barium study, radioisotope injection, oral or intravenous contrast material from a CT or MRI exam within seven days prior to your DEXA test.
The DEXA team is composed of individuals who are specially trained and experienced with computerized tomography procedures. The team includes:
- Board-certified radiologists (MDs).
- Licensed radiological technologists with sub-specialization in bone densitometry.
- Highly qualified and experienced support staff consisting of secretaries, transcriptionists, and transporters.
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