Dexa (Bone Density Test)

Dexa (DXA) is a non-surgical and painless examination consisting of a very low dose of X-ray. Very low doses of X-ray (about 1/30 the radiation of a standard chest X-ray, less than radiation from an airplane trip, equivalent to two hours of direct sunshine) are used to rapidly scan your bones. A computer converts this information to numbers indicating your bone density

Before your exam

  • Please schedule your exam by calling 240-566-3400.
  • Do not take calcium supplements 24 hours prior to your exam.
  • Please wait 7 days before your Dexa exam if you have had an Imaging exam in which contrast (barium, IV X-ray dye, or oral contrast) was used or any nuclear medicine exam. If you are to have an Imaging exam with contrast on the same day as your Dexa, please ensure that the Dexa is scheduled first.
  • Wear comfortable clothes without metal.

During your exam

  • In the exam room, you will be instructed to lie upon the exam table on your back for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Please remain as still as possible during the procedure to achieve the most accurate tests.

After the exam

  • The staff performing your exam will give you further directions before you leave.

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