Bone Density (DEXA) Scan

Health Begins Here. Voyage Healthcare offers Bone Density (DEXA) Scans at our Center for Women's Health location. DEXA, also known as Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, is a scan used to measure bone density. DEXA scans are a safe, easy, screening test for osteoporosis that samples the density of bones of your hip and lower back. It can detect osteoporosis before a fracture happens, predict one's chances of fracturing bones in the future and monitor the effects of treatment of osteoporosis.

Who should have a DEXA scan?

DEXA scans are for all postmenopausal women under age 60 who have multiple risks for osteoporosis such as small body frame, low calcium intake, sedentary lifestyle, or smoking.

It is also recommended for all women over age 65 regardless of additional risk factors, as well as men and women who have taken anti-seizure medications or Prednisone for prolonged period of time.

How do I schedule a DEXA scan?

We now offer online scheduling for DEXA scans! You may also call us at (763) 587-7999 to schedule your appointment.

How should I prepare for a DEXA scan?

Most people don’t need to change their daily routine before a DEXA scan. Eat, drink and take any medications as you normally would, unless your provider tells you otherwise. You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire that asks about your current health, your family history of broken bones, smoking history, and current medications.

Before your test, please do the following:

  • Stop taking calcium supplements or multi-vitamins 24 hours prior to the exam
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing with no metal
  • Tell your provider if you might be pregnant

How does the procedure work?

DEXA scans measure the mineral content in certain bones, such as the hip, spine and/or wrist. You will be asked to lie on a special DEXA x-ray table. The technologist will help position your correctly and use positioning devices such as foam blocks to help hold the desired position. As the arm of the DEXA machine passes over the body, IT uses two different x-ray beams. The beams use very little radiation to keep the test safer, and help to distinguish bone from other tissues.

The scanner translates the bone density measurement data into pictures and graphs. Bone is most easily seen in white, while the, fat and muscle tissue look like shadows in the background on the technologist’s computer monitor. These results are then reviewed and interpreted by a technologist trained in DEXA interpretation.

DEXA scans are a very simple and painless procedure that requires only a few minutes of your time. Getting a DEXA scan is similar to having a standard x-ray.

How do I get my results?

Your results will be given to you at the time of your exam, as well as sent to you primary care provider.

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