Bone Density (DEXA) Scan in Gainesville, TX
What is a Bone Density (DEXA) Test?
A bone density test, or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, measures the bones’ thickness throughout the body, emphasizing the hips and the spine. A bone density test is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis or brittle bone disease. Osteoporosis, a mild form of osteoporosis and places the patient at high-risk for bone fractures.
This helps to monitor patients over 50-years of age for osteoporosis, especially if there was a recent fracture. The results of this help the physician determine what treatment plan to initiate.
The patient should speak with their doctor about ordering a DEXA Test if they have never had one before. The first test is the baseline. After the first test, the doctor may order a test every year or two to five years to monitor the bones’ density.
Just before testing, the technician directs you to a table to lay down. The technician places a comfortable riser under the knees. When you and the technician are ready, a bone-density scanner moves slowly from your head to toes and back.
The scanner does not touch your body. However, this scanner may release a shallow level of rad
When Does a Doctor Typically Prescribe a Bone Density (DEXA) Test?
The doctor may order a baseline bone density if the man or woman is between 50-69 years of age. This first is a baseline for future bone density tests. This is not a yearly test. Your doctor may order this test to determine if you have any bone loss or if you suffered a recent bone fracture.
There are a few criteria that point to the fact that this test should be done. These criteria are as follows.
- A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis
- Fractured hips in family history
- History of smoking
- History of heavy drinking
- Low body weight
- A strong history of steroid use for three months or more
- You have a low Vitamin D level
How to Prepare for Bone Density (DEXA) Test?
- Eat and drink as usual
- No calcium supplements for 24 hours before the scheduled exam
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing, with no metal, buttons, zippers, or belts. The technician may provide you a hospital gown.
- Put no keys, wallets, or change in pockets.
- Remove all jewelry, eyeglasses, removable dental appliances, metal be removed.
- Inform the technician if you underwent a CT scan or injected with contrast material. Injections of contrast dyes may mean that you must wait ten days to two weeks for your bone density test.
- Inform the doctor if you are pregnant. You may have to postpone your bone density test until after the baby is born.
How is a Bone Density Test Scheduled?
Bone density tests will typically be called for and scheduled by your physician. If you have questions about your upcoming bone density test or need to reschedule your appointment, please feel free to contact us and speak with our staff.
1900 Hospital Blvd
Gainesville, TX 76240
Hours of operation:
24-hour inpatient service, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday for outpatient procedures.