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A DEXA scan is a highly precise medical technology that uses a low dose x-ray to obtain measurements of bone density, body fat and lean body mass. A vertebral fracture assessment can also be performed using this medical imaging technique.

This scan compares the bone density of the patient with the bone density estimated for a healthy adult of the patient’s age, taking into account ethnicity and gender.  A DEXA scan of hip and lumbar spine is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ for diagnosing osteoporosis and predicting future risk of fracture.

You do not need to prepare for this scan, although it is advisable that you wear clothes with no metal pieces on the day. Metals around the part of the body to be scanned will have to be removed prior to the scan.

A standard hip and lumbar spine scan will usually take 20 minutes. You will be asked to lie down on your back and a DEXA operator will help to get you in the correct position to achieve the best possible image. The equipment is not enclosed in any way like other types of medical scanners. As DEXA scan uses a much lower amount of radiation than standard x-rays, the operator will stay in the scanning room with you during the scan.

Dexa scans are carried out in Lambeth wing (first floor), St Thomas’ Hospital.

Please note a GP/consultant referral is required.

If you would like to book an appointment or find out more please contact our team:

T: 020 7188 5197

E: privatepatientenquiries@gstt.nhs.uk

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