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Knowing your risk makes all the difference.

As you age, your bones can become weaker and more fragile. This is a condition called osteoporosis. Your doctor may order a bone mineral density test to better understand your risk for bone fractures and injury. At Bayhealth Diagnostic Imaging, we can perform these tests to help your physician determine a course of treatment to keep you strong.

What is bone density test?

Bone densitometry – also called DEXA or BMD – uses a low dose x-ray to produce images of your lower back, hips, or extremities and determine your bone health. Our specialized equipment can measure and calculate the mineral density of your bones.

How do I prepare for my bone density test?

Generally, no preparation is required. However, you may be advised to stop taking calcium supplements 24-48 hours prior to your bone density test.

Bone density tests cannot be scheduled within four days following any oral or injected contrast study such as nuclear medicine, barium enema, or CT scan.

Please notify the technologist if you are or suspect you may be pregnant prior to starting the exam.

What can I expect during my test?

Bone densitometry is usually done on an outpatient basis, and we can schedule them when it’s convenient for you.

  • We’ll ask you to remove jewelry or accessories that may interfere with the quality of your scan. 
  • We recommend you wear pants with an elastic waistband and avoid wearing clothes with metal hooks, buttons, or zippers. 
  • You’ll be asked to lie on your back on our padded x-ray table. We may also place a padded cushion under your knees or legs to get better images.
  • The detector will scan your bones while you lie on the table.
  • The test takes less than thirty minutes.

While the procedure itself is painless, you may experience some discomfort as we position you on the x-ray table. We’ll do our best to keep you comfortable throughout your examination.

After a Bone Density Procedure

No special type of care is required after a bone density scan. You may resume your usual diet and activities, unless your physician advises you differently. Your physician may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.