What is Bone Densitometry?
Bone densitometry or bone density scanning is the standard process to measure bone loss. This is a safe and non-invasive procedure, which uses a low dose x-ray machine to identify bone density. It is often used to diagnose and monitor the treatment of osteoporosis, which afflicts some 20 million people each year.
Bone Density Testing is Strongly Recommended if You:
- Are a post-menopausal woman, not taking estrogen, are taller than 5 feet 7 inches, or weigh less than 125 lbs.
- Are a man, who has some clinical conditions that are associated with bone loss.
- Have had x-ray evidence of a spine fracture and/or other signs of osteoporosis
- Have had a hip fracture
- Have had a fracture after a mild trauma.
- Have a history of smoking.
- Have or are using medications that may cause bone loss
- Anti-seizure medications
- High-dose thyroid replacement drugs
- Have type 1 diabetes
- Have liver disease
- Have kidney disease
- Have a family history of osteoporosis
- Have high bone turnover
- Have a thyroid or parathyroid condition
How do I Prepare for the Exam
On the day of the exam you may eat normally, however, you should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam. Remember to wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam and remove your jewelry and/or eyeglasses.
It is important to inform your physician if you have recently had a barium exam or a CT scan. Women, remember to inform your physician if you may be pregnant.
What Will Happen During the Exam
Bone density scans are performed on an outpatient basis and should take approximately 30 minutes. A radiologic technologist will perform the exam. The technologist has completed a rigorous course in education and training and works closely with the radiologist to ensure the most accurate results.
The technologist will position you on an x-ray table. It is important to remember to hold very still during the procedure to prevent a blurred image. The radiologic technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine. Bone density exams are quick and painless; you should not feel anything at all.
After the Exam
When the exam is complete a NYM radiologist will study your results. Your designated health care provider or practitioner will provide your results to you.
Please call the Women's Diagnostic Center at (718) 780-5029 or (718) 780-5030 to schedule an appointment.
Download our brochure on advanced women's imaging