DEXA (Dual Emission X-ray Absorptiometry) or Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD) is a scan that uses low-level x-ray imaging to determine the density, and therefore strength, of your bones.

It measures the level of particular minerals in your bones, which can then assess the likelihood of a fracture or bone disintegration.

For this scan, you will be asked to lie on a table and a camera arm will move above you. The results of your test will then be compared to a standard, comprising a group of young and healthy individuals and a group of individuals who match your profile in age, weight, gender etc. Your result will indicate if your bone density is high (strong) or low (prone to osteoporosis or to fracture easily).

What you need to know


Unless instructed otherwise, you can eat normally on the day of the exam. However, please avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. Wear loose, comfortable clothing; track suits and other casual clothing without zippers, buttons or any metal are preferred. You should not have had a barium study, radioisotope injection, oral or intravenous contrast dye from a CT scan or MRI within seven days of your DEXA scan.

Time required

You will be in our clinic for about 30 minutes.

Will I need an injection?

No, there is no injection needed for this scan.


A small amount of radiation is emitted during a DEXA scan, but this is very minimal.


The report from our radiologist will be forwarded to your doctor as soon as possible. If there are any urgent findings, a radiologist will notify your referring doctor immediately.

What do I need to bring?

  • Referral from your doctor
  • Medicare card (if applicable)
  • Healthcare card/Pension card/Student card (if applicable)
  • Previous x-rays/scans (if applicable)

What we need to know


Please advise us if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.


Please advise us of any medications you are taking. They may affect the timing of your appointment.


Please advise us of any allergies.