Please be advised:

DEXA scans are done by appointment only, and only in Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) and Placer Center for Health (PCH). For directions please click here. For appointment questions, please click here.

What is a DEXA Scan?

A DEXA (DXA) scan is a quick and painless procedure that involves lying on your back on an X-ray table so an area of your body can be scanned.

Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DEXA is today's established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD).

Before my DEXA Scan appointment

On the day of your exam you can eat and drink normally. You can wear regular, loose and comfortable clothing to you exam, but please be advised:

  • Do not wear clothing with metal zippers, belts or buttons.
  • Do not take any calcium or tums the morning of the exam.
  • If you have had a barium study wait at least 7 days before having a DEXA scan.
  • If you have been injected with contrast for CT or MRI scan, wait at least 7 days before having a DEXA scan.
  • If you have had a Nuclear Medicine study done, wait at least 7 days before having a DEXA scan.

What will happen during my visit?

For your scan you will be asked to lie on your back for about 20 minutes. Your exam will consist of scanning the spine, hip and sometimes the wrist. DEXA scanner will make a very soft humming noise. Technologist will try their best to make you as comfortable as possible.

Due to extremely low radiation dose, technologist will remain in the room with you and will maintain visual contact with you at all times.


What will happen after my Dexa appointment?

There are no limitations after your visit with us. You may drink or eat immediately following your DEXA scan. The Radiologist interprets the results within a few days and the report should go out in about 5-7 working days. For your results please consult your Primary Care Physician or check MyChart.

We thank you for choosing UC Davis Health Radiology for your medical imaging.