DEXA FAQs

How should I prepare for a DEXA scan?

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Test protocol: Arrive metal/ hard plastic free or ready to change. This includes: No zippers, buttons, reflective materials, jewelry or watches, and no bras with clasps or underwire. No metal or hard plastic hair clips or pins. If you have metal in your body (such as a replaced joint or a pin in a bone), please inform us.

On the day of the test you may eat normally.

What happens during a DEXA scan?

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The DEXA Scan is a quick and painless process. Before the scan begins, you will be asked to lie down on an open, flat X-ray table. There are no special preparations required and you will be able to remain fully clothed. You will, however, need to remove any clothes with metal or hard plastic such as zippers, buckles or hooks. During the scan, a scanning arm will be passed over your body.

The appointment includes a short consultation with a physician who will help you better understand your results.

What does DEXA measure?

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  • Body fat results:

Body composition scans with DEXA / DXA provides precise and accurate data on total body fat percentage, total fat mass and fat-free mass. Most importantly, what is unique about DEXA body composition technology is that it provides regional body fat results (trunk, arms, legs, pelvis and android/gynoid regions). For instance, DEXA scans can give a precise measurement of visceral fat / abdominal fat. · Abdominal, or visceral, fat is of particular concern because it's a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs. · Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

  • Bone Density (bone mineral density - BMD)

Please note that DEXA scans do subject you to small amounts of radiation. A whole-body scan produces a level of radiation equivalent to flying by airplane from New York to California.

What are the benefits of the DEXA scan?

What are the benefits?

Accurate measurement of body composition provides valuable information for assessing and monitoring the human body. Most people are used to stepping on a scale now and then. Yet monitoring weight – while helpful – is not a precise way of assessing health and fitness progress. Body composition measurement with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) can look beyond weight and the traditional body mass index (BMI) to determine body fat distribution. This can help individuals, trainers and physicians monitor the effects of diet and exercise in a precise manner. Precise, accurate and segmental (regional) body fat data can have many benefits such as: Supporting decisions on training regimens and nutrition plans. Understanding and monitoring health risks related to body fat distribution and bone density. Moreover, the measurements are fast and non-invasive.