Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions we are asked

Q: How will the scan be conducted?

The technician will measure your height and weight and then assist with positioning you on the DEXA scanning table. A strap is placed around your ankles to help you to stay still. You are required to lie still for 7-11 minutes while the examination takes place, during which time the scanner arm will pass above you. The scan is done on an open bed and is not a claustrophobic environment like an MRI or CT scan. The technician is in the room with you at all times. You must be below 140 kgs in weight.

Q: What level of ionising radiation(X-rays) will I be exposed to during a DEXA scan?

You will be exposed to a very small dose, equivalent to approximately one day’s normal background radiation, or about 8 Brazil nuts!

Q: How long does a scan take?

7 or 11 minutes depending on weight.

Q: What should I wear?

Wear a single layer of light clothing without any metal (zips or buttons or wired bras). Gym clothes (shorts & t-shirt) are usually perfect. Remove any jewellery or piercings, if possible.

Q: When should I eat?

Do not eat for 4 hours before your scan. If your appointment is early morning - fast from 11pm the night before (Do not consume breakfast).

Q: How much water should I drink?

Be well hydrated during the 2 days before your scan. Drink 500ml of water 1 hour before your scan. Empty your bladder 10 minutes before your scan and defecate if required.

Q: What about exercise?

Do not take part in organised training or an exercise session of more than 20 minutes in the 12 hours before your scan.

Q: What if I’m pregnant?

You cannot have a scan if you are pregnant or if possibility of being pregnant. The10-day rule will be applied ie. you can only be scanned within 10 days of the first day of your last period.

Q: Do we provide bone mineral density scans?

Not at this time.

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