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.

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.

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 I need a referral for a bone mineral density scan?

Yes, a referral from your GP, team doctor or acting physician is needed before a bone density scan can take place. We are currently working towards our clinic being affiliated with health insurance providers. Please contact us if your are experiencing difficulty in obtaining your referral.

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