Your Visit

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Contact the Bone Health Program

  • 1-617-355-7476

Preparing for your DXA Appointment

  • DXA appointments should be scheduled at least 14 days after having any procedure that involves contrast materials, including barium enemas, upper GI series, and CT scans.
  • Do not take calcium pills, vitamins or TUMS the morning of the scan if possible. Since calcium (in your bones) is what we are measuring, taking a pill containing calcium may affect our ability to obtain accurate results.
  • Metal objects affect the scan and we ask that you remove them before the test.  We are happy to provide you with a hospital gown to change into.  If you prefer not to change, please dress in clothing (including undergarment) that does not have metal hooks, snaps, buttons, zippers, etc.
  • All female patients who have begun menstruation, or who are age 12 or older, will be asked for a urine sample for pregnancy testing before the scan.  Please feel free to ask your technologist or contact us for additional information.

When You Arrive

  • The technologist will ask you to fill out a brief medical history form.
  • You will have your height and weight measured and asked to provide a urine sample if applicable.
  • Parents, family members and friends will be asked to wait in the waiting area. One parent/guardian may accompany younger patients. Pregnant women, however, may not stay in the room during the exam. We cannot provide care for siblings or other young children during the exam.
  • The technologist will review the procedure and answer any questions you may have.

During the Scan

  • You will be positioned on the table according to the type of scan you are having.
  • You will be asked to lie completely still and not talk during the scan. You may breathe normally throughout the test.
  • Each scan takes one to six minutes.

Your Results

  • You will NOT receive results on the day of your appointment.
  • The DXA scans must be analyzed by the technologist and then reviewed and interpreted by a doctor specializing in bone densitometry.
  • When ready, DXA  results will be sent to your primary care provider, or to the doctor who ordered your scan within 2 weeks. This doctor will inform you about your bone density.
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    Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944