At Intermountain Healthcare, we know that Comfort Matters, even when you may not be visiting one of our facilities under the best of circumstances. The Intermountain Imaging Services team will do everything we can to make sure you are as comfortable as possible during your DEXA test. If you're cold during the test, we'll get you a warm blanket. If you don't understand an instruction, we'll stop and gently explain it to you. From the time you schedule your imaging exam to the time you receive your results, we want your experience with Intermountain Imaging Services to be as comfortable as possible.
How long will it take?
Most DEXA scans take 15 minutes or less to complete, depending on the number of areas scanned.
What happens during the test?
During a comprehensive DEXA test, you will lay comfortably still on a padded table while the DEXA machine scans two or more areas, usually the fracture-prone hip and spine. Unlike typical X-ray machines, radiation exposure during bone densitometry is extremely low—less than the radiation exposure during a coast-to-coast airline flight. It involves no injections or invasive procedures, and you may remain fully clothed.
What happens after the test?
A radiologist, a doctor with special training in reading the results of DEXA scans and other imaging tests, will analyze the images and send a report to your doctor. Your doctor will tell you the results, usually in a follow-up appointment. The information gained during the DEXA scan will help your doctor determine if you need treatment for osteoporosis. Treatment can help strengthen bones and prevent fractures.