The Scan Step by Step

The central DEXA scan is a painless noninvasive procedure. Here’s how it works in most cases:

  1. First, you should talk with your primary care physician and, if you are a woman, your gynecologist. Tell them about your concerns and risk factors for osteoporosis, then request a DEXA scan.
  2. When you go for a scan, you will meet a technologist, who will help you lie down on an examination platform. You may have to lie down in a certain position to ensure accurate measurements.
  3. An image of the bone to be measured (typically the hip or spine) will appear on the technologist’s computer. He or she will use the computer to place lines or boxes around the areas to be measured. The computer will then provide information about the density of that bone.
  4. At this point, your part of the scan is done. The technologist will provide a printout of the scan to a physician who is certified to read and interpret the results. This report will then be sent to your physician who will discuss the results with you.