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WHAT TO EXPECT 
FOR A
BMD SCAN

Before a BMD Scan     

  • BMD tests are easy, fast and painless. Virtually no preparation is needed.

  • Do tell your doctor beforehand if you recently had a barium exam or had contrast material injected for a CT scan or nuclear medicine test. Contrast materials in your body might interfere with your bone density test.

  • Avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your bone density test.

  • In addition, wear loose, comfortable clothing. Avoid wearing clothes with zippers, belts or buttons. Leave your jewellery at home and remove all metal objects from your pockets, such as keys, money clips or change. 

  • Please let the technologist know if you have any metallic implants in your spine or hip before the scan starts.

  • Female patients should inform the technologist if they are pregnant or suspect that they may be pregnant.

  • Your height and weight will be taken before the scan.

During a BMD Scan  

  • You will be made to lie on a padded examination couch with your ankles strapped to a positioning device.

  • A mechanical arm will pass over your body during the scan.

  • You will not feel anything during the scan and the amount of radiation you will be exposed to is very low.. 

  • The scan should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes.

     

After a BMD Scan     

  • An BMD scan is usually carried out as an outpatient procedure.

  • After the scan, you can resume normal activities. 

  • You may receive your T-score and Z-score, and these scores will be interpreted to you by your doctor.

  • Your BMD scan needs to be studied by a radiologist (a doctor trained in interpreting scans and X-rays) and possibly discussed with other specialists. 

  • The radiologist will send a fuller report to the doctor who arranged the scan, who will then discuss the results with you. 

  • It usually takes 1 day for the results of an BMD scan to come through unless they're needed urgently.