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Osteoporosis Service

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The Osteoporosis Service provides Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning, used to measure bone density, for men and women over 65 who have risk factors or a diagnosis of Osteopenia or Osteoporosis.

  • What is the purpose of a DEXA scan?

    • A DEXA scan is a special type of X-ray that measures bone mineral density (BMD). DEXA stands for "dual energy X-ray absorptiometry". This type of scan may also be called: a DXA scan or a bone density scan and is a means of measuring bone mineral density (BMD).  A DEXA scan is typically used to diagnose and monitor osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.
    • A DEXA scan is more effective than normal X-rays in identifying low bone mineral density.
  • Are DEXAs safe?

    • As well as being quick and painless, a DEXA scan is more effective than normal X-rays in identifying low bone mineral density. The amount of radiation used is extremely small—less than one-tenth the dose of a standard chest x-ray, and less than a day's exposure to natural radiation. X-rays usually have no side effects in the typical diagnostic range for this exam.
  • DEXA scan procedure

    • Below is a list of what to expect during your scan.
      • On arrival to the unit you will be greeted by a member of staff who will inform the scan operator of your arrival.
      • You do not have to fast for this scan.
      • Normally you do not have to undress for this scan but jeans and clothes with metal buttons should be avoided.
      • Your weight and height will be taken and recorded.
      • During the scanning you will be asked to lie on your back and to keep as still as possible.
      • Throughout the scanning procedure a member of staff will remain in the room with you.
      • The whole procedure takes approximately 15 minutes but normally a questionnaire is filled in and discussed with you at the time of the scan so 30 minutes is allocated to each appointment.
      • The images taken will be assessed to ensure all the information required has been successfully obtained prior to your departure.
      • You will be given information and the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.
  • Obtaining your DEXA scan results

    • Normally the results are sent to your GP or referring Consultant with 10 days of the scan being obtained.
  • FAQs

    • How do I contact the department?
    • The unit can be contacted by telephone on (01481) 725241 ex 4709.
    • What if I miss my appointment?
    • Contact the unit as soon as possible and another appointment will be made for you - (01481) 725241 ex 4709.
    • Where is the unit located?
    • The osteoporosis unit is not located within the x-ray department.
    • We are located in the part of the hospital where Bulstrode Oncology Unit, Brock, Carey and Le Marchant wards are.
    • We are located on the ground floor in the Day Assessment unit.


Osteoporosis Service Leaflet Osteoporosis and Bone Density Scans Leaflet Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Leaflet

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