Bone Mineral Densitometry (DEXA)

Lake Imaging offers DEXA at:


About DEXA

A bone density scan or DEXA scan (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan) is a special type of x-ray which measures Bone Mineral Density (BMD).   These low dose x-ray scans provide an overall assessment of your bones to assess for possible osteoporosis or reduced bone density. A dedicated x-ray unit is used to perform these scans.

Routinely the lower spine and hip are scanned. As any condition affecting bone density tends to affect the whole skeleton, information from a few areas of the body are enough to determine the overall bone density. The BMD of the hip and spine has been shown to be the best way of predicting the overall risk of bone density deficiency.

There are strict criteria for patients being able to claim a Medicare rebate for a bone density scan. Lake Imaging’s administration staff can explain these to you at the time of your booking.

Your appointment and preparation

A referral from your doctor and an appointment are required for a DEXA examination.

Your receptionist may ask a series of questions at the time of making your appointment to understand if you are eligible for a Medicare rebate.

What can I expect during my DEXA?

At the start of the examination at Lake Imaging the radiographer will ask you a few questions and measure your height and weight. You will then be asked to lie on the scanner in a position that enables the x-ray arm to pass across your lower spine before a second scan is taken over your hip.

The radiographer will carefully analyse the scans using specialised computer software to provide an overall assessment of the density of your bones.

The examination will take a total of 20 minutes.

What are the risks and side effects?

Bone density scans emit small doses of x-ray radiation. At Lake Imaging you can be assured that by using the latest technology and with staff trained in radiation reduction techniques, radiation doses are as low as reasonably possible. Your doctor will take into account the cumulative number of scans of each patient before referring for scans. Scans will only be taken when any risks are far outweighed by the potential benefits to the patient.

If it is possible that you may be pregnant, please tell our radiology team before your x-rays are taken to avoid any risks to your unborn child.

For further information regarding radiation safety please visit:

Who will perform my DEXA and write the report?

At Lake Imaging your examination will be carried out by a Radiographer (or Medical Imaging Technologist) who has a degree in Medical Imaging and is accredited by the Australian Institute of Radiography. Our Radiologist (a medical Doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images), will prepare a report for your referring doctor detailing the findings of your examination.

What should I expect after my DEXA?

You can resume normal activity immediately after your examination.

How do I obtain my results?

If the results of your x-ray examination are needed urgently, or you have an appointment immediately after your scan with your referring doctor or health care provider, Lake Imaging will arrange to have your results available immediately. Otherwise your referring doctor or health care provider will receive your report within 48 hours of your x-ray examination.

Please ensure you make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your results.