Your Visit

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Preparing for your appointment

  • 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 scans if possible.
    • Since calcium (in your bones) is what we are measuring with a DXA scan, taking a pill containing calcium may affect our ability to obtain useful and accurate results.
  • 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.
  • Metal objects affect the scan and we ask that you remove them before the test. We are happy to provide you with gowns and pants to change into. If you prefer not to change, you can dress in clothes that do not have any snaps, buttons, zippers etc.

When You Arrive

  • 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 be 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 bed according to the type of scan you are having.
  • Each scan takes one to six minutes.
  • You will be asked to lie completely still and not talk for the entire scan. But you may breathe normally throughout the test.

Your Results

  • You will NOT receive results on the day of your appointment.
  • The DXA scans must be carefully reviewed by the technologist and then reviewed and interpreted by a doctor specializing in bone health within 10 days to 2 weeks.
  • After this process is complete, results will be sent to your primary care provider, or to the doctor who ordered your appointment. This doctor will inform you about your bone density
Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

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Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
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If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

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