Bone density (DEXA) scan

Bone densitometry

A DEXA scan measures the density and strength of your bones, and is used to diagnose or assess your risk of osteoporosis

About

A bone density scan is also known as a DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan, DXA scan, and bone densitometry scan. The loss of bone density with age (osteoporosis) weakens your bones. This type of scan is used to measure the density and strength of your bones, and check for osteoporosis.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    This simple scan is quick and painless. You will need to lie down on an examining table where two low-dose X-rays are used to measure the bone density of two areas of your skeleton - usually the lumbar spine and both hips. These are the two main areas at risk of fractures caused by osteoporosis. The test takes about 10 minutes. Your results will be ready within 48 hours.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    You don't need to prepare before having a bone density scan. You can take your usual medication and eat as normal. Wearing loose comfortable clothing is recommended, with no metal studs or belts. You can wear a bra. You'll need to fill in a lifestyle questionnaire before you have the scan. It includes questions about your medical history and medication etc.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    Your results will be sent to your referring doctor, who'll discuss them with you and let you know if you require any treatment.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
back to top