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DEXA Bone Density Scans

Conemaugh East Hills
1450 Scalp Avenue
Johnstown, PA 15904
Phone: (814) 266-4102

Monday - Friday, 8 am - 3 pm
Saturday, 8 am - 11 am

Conemaugh Breast Imaging
1111 Franklin Street, Suite 040
Johnstown, PA 15905
Phone: (814) 534-9956

Monday - Friday, 9 am - 2 pm

Conemaugh Meyersdale Medical Center
200 Hospital Drive
Meyersdale, PA
Phone: (814) 972-6970, call to schedule appointment

Monday - Friday, 7 am - 8 pm
Saturday, 7 am - 3 pm

Conemaugh Miners Medical Center
290 Haida Avenue
Hastings, PA
Phone: (814) 247-3300, call to schedule appointment

Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 7 pm

Conemaugh Nason Medical Center
105 Nason Drive
Roaring Spring, PA
Phone: (814) 224-2141

Monday - Friday, 8 am - 2 pm

Bone density scans, also known as dual energy X-rays, measure bone loss and can help detect osteoporosis or if you may be at risk for this condition. The scans can also help determine if you are at risk for fractures. The scan is painless and there are no special rules to follow before you have your test.

Preparation for Scan

Welcome and thank you for choosing Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for your X-Ray exam. Our physicians and technologists are dedicated to providing highly skilled and compassionate care for you and your family. We understand that you may be apprehensive about your test. We hope the following information will be helpful to you as you prepare for your diagnostic test.

At the MMC Main Campus the Radiology department is located on the 3rd floor of the main building. They can also be done at Richland Care Center at 1481 Eisenhower Blvd at (814) 266-4102.

We want to make the experience as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to call your physician or Radiology Department at (814) 534-9166 between 7:00 AM and 11:00 PM

Before the Scan

You or your physician’s office may schedule the date and time of your appointment with Central Scheduling. They will instruct you on any special preparations you need and what time to arrive at the hospital. If you can’t remember when you are scheduled or the preparation involved please call your physician or the Radiology Department at (814) 534-9166 between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays. 

If you have questions about your insurance coverage or pre-certification, call your insurance company. If you are not covered by insurance, please make arrangements for payment by calling the business office at (814) 410-8470. 

You will be exposed to a low amount of radiation from the x-ray. If you are pregnant or think you might be, or if you are breast-feeding, tell the doctor and technologist before your test. 

You should not have had any nuclear medicine scan, or an x-ray study using contrast material (such as a CT scan), for 7 days prior to the bone density study. 

Do not take any calcium supplements or antacids for 24 hours before your appointment.

If you develop a cough, cold, abnormal temperature, sore throat or flu-like symptoms, or if you come in contact with anyone suffering from measles, chickenpox or any other communicable diseases within 2 weeks prior to your scan, please call your physician. It may be necessary to reschedule your scan for a time when you are feeling better.

The Day of your Scan

Wear loose fitting, clean, comfortable clothing and flat shoes.

Children under 18 years of age or incapacitated adults must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You may be accompanied by one adult family member or friend. Children should not accompany adults having any procedures.

Please bring any order that your physicians office provided for you. If you were not contacted by pre-certification please bring your identification and insurance cards.

Parking is available in the parking lots outside of the buildigns. At the Main Campus you can park in the garage on Franklin Street or use the valet at the Main Entrance on Franklin Street. Please bring your parking ticket with you to receive a token for free parking in the garage.

When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your procedure, check in at the Outpatient Registration desk. At the Main Campus it is to the left in the main lobby on the first floor. You will be registered and then escorted to the Radiology department waiting area. Once there you will sign in at the reception desk. If you were pre-registered you can go directly to the radiology department.

Healthcare professionals will be available in this area to make you comfortable and to answer your questions. Your safety is our number one priority. 

The staff may ask you the same questions several times; they will ask your name, birth date, what procedure you are having done, your medications and your allergies. By repeating our questions, we are verifying and re-verifying very important information to ensure that your time with us is as safe as possible.

Preparing for the Scan

If you are wearing any clothing with metal snaps or zippers you may be asked to go to a dressing room and change into a gown. You may be asked to remove any jewelry or metal that can interfere with the body part being imaged. Lockers are available for your clothing. It is better to leave valuables at home of with a family member. 

You will be escorted into the x-ray room. The people around you in the room will be preparing for your procedure. The technologist will explain everything that is happening. Please let the technologist know if you are pregnant or think you may be. Please inform the technologist if you have a hip replacement; metal clips or plates; or are unable to walk or lie flat with a pillow. 

You will be assisted to sit or lie on a table on your back. Your lower legs may be raised on a platform. The part of your body being imaged needs to be between the x-ray tube and the photographic plate. You will be given a lead apron to drape over part of your body to shield it from x-rays. A moveable arm passes over the area to be tested which is usually your lower spine and one hip. DXA stands for dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. It measures the bone mass or amount of calcium in your bones. 

You will need to keep perfectly still and not talk so the image is not blurred. Each individual scan lasts about two minutes. It can take up to twenty minutes to complete the whole scan. The image is usually transferred to a computer where it can be studied or printed out. The technologist may need to move your body or scanner for each new view. The x-ray itself is painless. Some of the positions required may cause temporary discomfort. If so let the technologist know. They may be able to reposition you to ease the discomfort. Once the technologist has all the images the physician requires your test is complete.

After your Scan

When your x-ray is over, the technologist will assist you out of the room and have you sit in the waiting area while they check to make sure all the images are clear. Once they confirm that the films are acceptable you will be able to get dressed and go home.

A Radiologist will study your scans and report the results to your doctor that ordered the exam. Your doctor will generally discuss the results with you at your next physician’s office visit.