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Dexa Scan

Frequently Asked Questions

A DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan is a medical imaging test that uses low-dose X-rays to measure bone mineral density and body composition. It is a safe and painless test that can help diagnose osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and brittle. A DEXA scan can also help assess the risk of fractures and monitor the effects of treatment for osteoporosis.

A DEXA scan is a simple and non-invasive test that is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Here is how the procedure typically goes:

  • You will be asked to lie down on a table, usually face-up, and remain still during the scan.
  • The technician will position the DEXA scanner over the area of your body to be scanned. The most common areas scanned are the spine, hip, or wrist.

No, a DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan is a painless and non-invasive procedure. During the scan, you will lie on a table while the DEXA scanner passes a low-dose X-ray beam over your body. You will not feel any pain, and there is no need for anesthesia or any other kind of pain relief.

While DEXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scans are widely used and considered safe, there are a few disadvantages associated with this imaging technique:

  1. Radiation Exposure: DEXA scans use a small amount of ionizing radiation, though significantly less than a conventional X-ray. However, individuals who are repeatedly exposed to radiation through multiple DEXA scans over time may face a slightly increased risk of radiation-related complications.

  2. Limited Evaluation: DEXA scans primarily focus on assessing bone mineral density (BMD) and are most commonly used for diagnosing and monitoring osteoporosis.

  3. Cost and Availability: DEXA scans require specialized equipment and trained technicians to perform and interpret the results. This can make them relatively expensive compared to other diagnostic tests.

  4. Limitations for Certain Populations: DEXA scans may be less accurate in certain populations, such as individuals with significantly different body compositions (e.g., obese or heavily muscled individuals) or those with orthopedic implants, which can interfere with the accuracy of the scan results.

  5. Lack of Functional Information: DEXA scans primarily focus on bone density and do not provide functional information about the bones or joints.

Yes, DEXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scans are generally considered safe. The radiation exposure associated with a DEXA scan is very low, significantly lower than conventional X-rays or CT scans. The amount of radiation used in a DEXA scan is generally equivalent to or even less than the radiation exposure from natural sources that we encounter in our daily lives.