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What is a BMD / DEXA scan?

Bone Mineral Density (BMD) – also known as DEXA-dual energy X-ray absorptiometry – scanning is a painless and non-invasive examination that uses a very low intensity X-ray machine to measure the bone mineral content in various parts of the body, such as the. spine, hip or wrist.

Adelaide MRI offers BMD / DEXA scans at its Woodville practice.

What are BMD / DEXA scans used for?

Bone densitometry is used to diagnose and measure osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but also affects around one third of men. They can also be used to evaluate other conditions which cause bone loss.

How do I prepare for an BMD / DEXA scan?

Please bring your doctor’s BMD scan request form, your Medicare card and any previous X-rays, scans, reports and films each time you visit us. These examinations do not require any other preparation. You are welcome to ask questions regarding your examination at any time.

What happens during an BMD / DEXA scan?

A typical BMD examination takes about 20 minutes. We will check your name and date of birth prior to your examination. In the X-ray room, the radiographer (a medical imaging technologist) will explain the examination procedure to you. You will either sit or lie down on a bed, where you will be positioned to obtain the correct images on the X-ray plate. These scans are then transferred into a computer for image printing and reporting.

You will not experience any discomfort during the examination. The radiographer is responsible for acquiring the images, which interpreted and reported by the radiologist. You will be asked to sign a Medicare bulk-bill form when the examination is complete.

Is BMD / DEXA scanning a safe process?

By referring you for a BMD scan, your doctor has decided that the medical benefit to you is much greater than any risk posed by exposure to diagnostic X-rays. The X-rays used to obtain BMD scans are a naturally occurring type of radiation. While X-rays are classed as a carcinogen, the scientific and health industry consensus is that the benefits of X-rays far outweigh any potential negative outcomes. The intensity of X-rays used in BMD is very low.

If you are pregnant, you must let our staff know before the examination.

How much does an BMD / DEXA scan cost?

We bulk bill all Medicare-eligible BMD / DEXA scans as part of our commitment to providing affordable and accessible healthcare. Bulk billing means there is no gap payment and no unexpected out-of-pocket expense. Please check if your scan is Medicare-eligible when booking. The Medicare schedule has very specific guidelines about which examinations are eligible.

It is your choice where to have your BMD / DEXA scan. Call us for an appointment with any referring doctor’s imaging request form.

Sometimes your doctor may require traditional large-format plastic images (‘hard films’). If so, let us know and we will print plastic images for you – a small charge of $20 applies for these copies.

Fees apply where a BMD / DEXA scan is not Medicare-eligible. Please ask our reception staff when booking.

What happens to my BMD / DEXA scan results?

Your scan results are treated with strict confidentiality. Our radiologist or technician will talk to you before, during and after the examination and can explain the BMD / DEXA images we produce, but may not be able to give you precise information about your condition prior to the finalisation of a written report. A second radiologist may review your scan images. Adelaide MRI will issue your final report within the next 48 hours and send the results to your referring doctor with instructions for digital access of the images. As the images are digital, they are stored on our computer system for future reference. You should always discuss the results with your doctor.

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