A DEXA bone scan is a test that uses X-rays to measure the density of bones. This test can be used to assess your bone health, assess your risk for osteoporosis, and diagnose osteoporosis and other bone-related health conditions.
Claustrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of enclosed spaces. A concern of many patients who need medical imaging scans is whether they are going to be in an enclosed space for the procedure. The reality is you don’t need to suffer from claustrophobia to feel anxious during a medical scan. A bone scan does not require you to be in an enclosed space, so if you have claustrophobia, you have nothing to worry about.
What Does a DEXA Bone Scanner Look Like?
A DEXA bone scanner consists of an exam table, a padded box, and an X-ray generator. Patients lie on an exam table, position their legs on a padded box, and the X-ray generator is positioned above the table.
During the test, the machine arm takes pictures of an area of the body – usually the spine and the hip – and measures the density of the bones. The machine translates the data into pictures and graphs. The scan is painless, exposes patients to very low levels of X-rays, and takes about 15 minutes to complete.
The radiologist reviews and interprets the results of the DEXA bone scan and forwards it to the requesting physician to help determine the appropriate treatment plan for you.
Managing Your Claustrophobia and Other Anxieties
Unlike a closed MRI machine, patients needing a bone scan will not be placed inside a machine. However, if you are still feeling anxious about your bone scan, the best thing you can do is to let your doctor know, so they can explain to you what you can expect during the procedure, which can help allay your fears. Ask your doctor how you can make the experience more comfortable. You can also research online and find videos of a DEXA scan to see how it is done. This will help set your expectations. In addition, you can bring a family member or trusted friend with you to the clinic if that helps you feel more comfortable. During the test, relax and take deep breaths. The test is ultimately for your benefit and necessary for the doctor to plan your care and treatment accordingly.
DEXA Bone Scan in the Bronx, NY
Starling Diagnostics is a reputable and highly trusted primary care and diagnostic facility in the Bronx. We offer the DEXA bone scan, as well as a relaxing and comfortable experience for our patients. Our health care providers and staff are highly attuned to the needs of our patients, and make sure you are provided what you need to have a positive experience, whether it’s education about your medical imaging procedure or the use of a compassionate and gentle approach. If you are nervous about your bone scan, don’t hesitate to let us know.
If you have any questions about the DEXA bone scan or want to schedule your appointment, call our office today at (718) 319-1610 or use our convenient online appointment request form.