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What is it?
A DEXA Scan is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging device that utilizes X-ray beams to generate a measurement.
How does it work?
As you lie down on the platform, a large scanning arm will pass over your body to measure your bone density, muscle mass and/or body fat percentage. As the scanning arm glides over your body, low-dose X-rays will be absorbed to produce the desired measurement.
DEXA machines are generally used to diagnose Musculoskeletal & Orthopedic diseases/injuries such as Osteoporosis. It provides information on Bone Density, Body Fat Percentage and level of Muscle Mass. Therefore, it may also be used for sporting activities such as professional Bodybuilding.
How to prepare
DEXA Scan tests are simple, fast and painless. You may be asked to avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam and advised to wear loose clothing without zippers, belts or buttons. All metal objects (eyeglasses, hearing aids, jewelry...) must also be removed before your examination.
What to expect
During the examination
- You will be instructed to lie down on a padded platform
- A mechanical arm will pass over your body, emitting a low dose of X-ray radiation
- The exam usually lasts 10-30 minutes
What to expect
- You may resume your daily activities normally after the test
- A Radiologist will analyze your images and send a report to your doctor. The next steps will be discussed with your referring Doctor
What are the risks?
DEXA Scans are completely safe when operated by the hands of professionals. However, there are minor risks which should be considered:
The amount of ionizing radiation you are exposed to is significantly small and empirically proven to not cause any long-term harm.
2.Harm to unborn babies
Although radiation from an DEXA is unlikely to harm an unborn baby, your doctor may advise you avoid exposing the fetus to radiation.
Generally, DEXA radiation exposure is so low, that the benefits from these tests far outweigh any minor potential risks.