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Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry or DXA (DEXA) is technology used to measure and monitor changes in bone density.

We use a DEXA scanning machine at London Bridge Hospital Outpatients to determine if patients have osteoporosis – a condition which weakens bones – and know what treatment they need.

DEXA scanning and osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a condition which involves the gradual loss of bone density with age, weakening bones that often leads to fractures. Many factors such as genetic predisposition, illness, drugs, and dietary habits contribute to the development of this disease.

More effective than an X-ray in identifying low bone mineral density, a DEXA scan can:

  • Quickly and accurately diagnose osteoporosis
  • Check if you’re at risk from developing the condition
  • Examine weakening bone density and developing fractures to determine the medical treatment you need

How does a DEXA scan work?

A bone density scan is a painless, quick and safe procedure and takes approximately 30 minutes. You will be required to lie down on an examining table where two low-dose X-rays are used to measure the bone density of two sites in your skeleton - the lumbar spine and hip. The bone densitometer measures the bone mineral density (BMD), usually in a matter of seconds for each site.

The DEXA machine generates two scores, T score and a Z score to determine the condition of your bones, compared with the average bone density of people of your age, sex and race. This can help determine the risk of you developing a fracture.

There is no preparation required before the scan. You can take medication and eat meals as normal. Loose, comfortable clothing is recommended with no metal studs or belts, however, bras are acceptable.

A lifestyle questionnaire will be given to you before the scan commences, which includes relevant questions regarding your medical history. The answers you provide will help report optimal results. These results and the lifestyle questionnaire will assist the reporting physician in creating an accurate report.

The images and results will then be sent to your referring doctor, who will discuss these with you and advise on any further treatment.

Why use the DEXA services at London Bridge

Speed and ease for the best outcome – At London Bridge Hospital Outpatients, we aim to provide same and next day appointments for all patients using our DEXA services. We do our best to make sure you’re seen quickly and conveniently to keep things simple, give you peace of mind and decide what’s the best course of action for you.

Latest DEXA technology – The DEXA scanning services at London Bridge are built with the latest medical technology. Our machines can quickly and accurately diagnose osteoporosis, determine if you’re at risk from developing the disease, or understand its development if you have the condition.

Best DEXA experts and quality care – World-leading HPC-registered (Health & Care Professions Council) consultants at London Bridge Hospital will conduct your DEXA scan, with the skill and experience to determine what medical treatment you need, if you have osteoporosis. Our highly qualified team will also ensure you receive the best quality patient care throughout the process and get back to living life the best way you can.

To find out more about our DEXA scanning services at London Bridge Hospital Outpatients, or to book an appointment with us, email or call 020 3733 2696 to get in touch with a member of our imaging team.

This service can be found at the following facilities: