Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD)

What is bone mineral densitometry?

A bone mineral densitometry (BMD) scan uses low energy X-ray to measure the density of your bones. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis and to assess fracture risk. BMD is also used to monitor bone density if you are undergoing treatment for osteoporosis. The usual regions scanned are the lower spine and hips.

How should I prepare for a bone mineral densitometry scan?

There is no special preparation required for a BMD scan.

Where possible, wear clothing without metallic objects such as zips or metal buttons that can affect the scan reading.

Please bring any previous bone densitometry results to your appointment so that we can assess changes in bone density. Do not schedule your BMD scan within one week of having a barium meal or enema, an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a nuclear medicine study or a CT scan.

On the day of your appointment

Epworth Medical Imaging’s friendly staff will greet you on arrival and take your referral form. A radiographer will collect you from reception and ask you to change into a gown if necessary.

A bone mineral densitometry scan is a painless, easy examination. You will be positioned on the DEXA scanning table and asked to lie still for 5 to 7 minutes while a scanning arm passes above you. The radiographer will remain in the room with you at all times.

The total duration for a bone mineral densitometry appointment is about 30 minutes, which allows our staff to take a medical history before the scan.


Following your examination, the radiographer will analyse the results on the computer and refer them to a radiologist for reporting. A copy of your report will be sent to your GP or specialist.


Epworth Medical Imaging accepts cash, cheque, EFTFOS, MasterCard and Visa for on-the-day payment. If you have provided your bank details to Medicare, claims can be lodged electronically to ensure that your Medicare rebate is deposited directly into your bank account.

Pensioner Concession, Health Care, Commonwealth Seniors Health and Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold cardholders will be bulk-billed for all Medicare-eligible outpatient items. Some surgical procedures and scans that are not covered under the Medicare Benefits Schedule may incur an out-of-pocket cost. Our staff will inform you of costs prior to your examination. Please present your Medicare card and any concession cards to reception on arrival.

Locations where we offer this procedure:

Epworth Freemasons Medical Centre
Epworth Richmond
Epworth Geelong

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