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        DEXA Scan                                                                                              Preparation Instructions

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Cayuga Medical Center
101 Dates Drive
Ithaca, NY 14850

Convenient Care at Ithaca
Rte 13 & Warren Road

Commons Imaging
Route 281 & Commons Ave





Dexa Scans are now available at all of our Imaging sites, including the Hospital, at the Lansing  and Cortland Imaging centers.


.Dexa Scans use a fine thin beam of X-Rays to quantitatively measure bone density, typically of the hips and Lumbar vertebrae. The procedure lasts about ten minutes.


This test is important in assessing the degree of bone thinning in osteoporosis

which often develops in otherwise normal post menopausal women.  This bone bone loss increases the risk of hip and spine fractures that can occur spontaneously or after otherwise minor trauma.













Other metabolic disorders can lead to bone loss.


Preparation: Click here for print friendly copy of these preparations..


Imaging (Radiology) Procedures

What is the test?

A DEXA Scan measures bone mineral density and is used to determine if a person is at increased risk of fracture due to osteoporosis. This test measures bone mass precisely and safely, using a very low exposure to radiation. The sensitivity of the DEXA Scan allows for early detection of diminishing bone mass, which means patients and their physicians can take measures to effectively stop the process of osteoporosis. DEXA scans can be used to monitor response to treatment for osteoporosis by measuring the change in bone mineral density between studies.

How do I prepare?

There is no special preparation needed for this test. However, patients should not take any calcium supplement the day before, or the day of, the DEXA scan. The DEXA scan should not be scheduled within one week following a nuclear medicine study, IVP, or contrast enhanced CT scan, or for one month following a barium test. If you wear clothing without metal zippers, there will be no need to change for the test.

What can I expect during the procedure?

During the DEXA scan you will lie on a special table with your legs propped up on a soft support and your arms over your head or crossed high on your chest. A mechanical arm moves slowly over the area to be scanned. The lumbar spine, hip, and/or wrist may be scanned for the test. By measuring more than one area, more accurate information about your bone density can be determined. The exam is painless and takes about 15 minutes.

How and when will I get my test results?

Typically, within 48 hours a written report of your test results will be sent to your referring physician, who will review them with you. Additional time (3 to 5 days) may be required if we are comparing these test results to previous findings from another hospital.

Where is the test performed?

We offer DEXA scans at all three of our Imaging Services centers: Cayuga Medical Center at 101 Dates Drive; the Convenient Care Center in Ithaca on Warren Road at Arrowwood Drive, and in Cortland at the Convenient Care and Commons Imaging Center on Route 281 at Commons Avenue.


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