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Your Visit | Overview

Preparing for your DXA appointment

  • DXA appointments should be scheduled at least 14 days after having any procedure that involves contrast materials, including barium enemas, upper GI series, and CT scans.
  • Do not take calcium pills, vitamins, or TUMS the morning of the scan if possible. Since calcium (in your bones) is what we are measuring, taking a pill containing calcium may affect our ability to obtain accurate results.
  • If you have any external hardware, this needs to be removed prior to your DXA scan.
  • Metal objects affect the scan and we ask that you remove them before the test. We are happy to provide you with a hospital gown to change into. If you prefer not to change, please dress in clothing (including undergarment) that does not have metal hooks, snaps, buttons, zippers, etc.
  • All female patients who have begun menstruation, or who are age 12 or older, will be asked for a urine sample for pregnancy testing before the scan. Please feel free to ask your technologist or contact us for additional information.

When you arrive

  • The technologist will ask you to fill out a brief medical history form.
  • You will have your height and weight measured and asked to provide a urine sample if applicable.
  • Parents, family members, and friends will be asked to wait in the waiting area. One parent/guardian may accompany younger patients. Pregnant women, however, may not stay in the room during the exam. We cannot provide care for siblings or other young children during the exam.
  • The technologist will review the procedure and answer any questions you may have.

During the scan

  • You will be positioned on the table according to the type of scan you are having.
  • You will be asked to lie completely still and not talk during the scan. You may breathe normally throughout the test.
  • Each scan takes one to six minutes.

Your results

  • You will NOT receive results on the day of your appointment.
  • The DXA scans must be analyzed by the technologist and then reviewed and interpreted by a doctor specializing in bone densitometry.
  • When ready, DXA results will be sent to your primary care provider, or to the doctor who ordered your scan within two weeks. This doctor will inform you about your bone density.

Clinical DXA images

  • We recently updated the look of our raw clinical DXA images in PowerChart. These high-resolution images contain all the same information, now with faster upload to the electronic medical records.