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What is a bone density exam?

Bone density technology uses very low dose X-rays to measure the density of bones. The less density, the more likely a condition called osteoporosis results, which can cause bones to fracture too easily. The scanner measures the amount of X-ray able to penetrate through the bone, and uses that information to compute a bone density score.

Regional West Medical Center offers bone density screening with a GE Lunar scanner. This equipment is located in the Breast Health Center; however, bone density screening is NOT just for women. The Breast Health Center location was chosen simply because it is conveniently close to physician offices and is easy for patients to find. Bone density exams may be scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays. Your primary care physician must refer you for a bone density screening.

What to expect if you are a patient

During a bone density exam, the patient lies on a table while the X-ray tube and the detectors move across the area being measured. The exam takes about 30 minutes and does not require any kind of prep or a change of clothing.

During the exam, you will be cared for by a registered radiologic technologist who is registered in radiography by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The technologist will ask some health-related questions, assist you into the proper position on the table, and operate the scanning equipment.

The completed images are examined by a board certified radiologist and the report is sent directly to your physician, who will then contact you with the results.