January 11, 2019
Southwest Medical Center introduced technology upgrades for patients this past month with the installation of a new bone density scanner, known as a DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) unit in the Diagnostic Imaging department.
“Our DEXA screenings are a key tool in preventative medicine, as these scans are usually performed to test bone density and look for signs of osteoporosis or osteopenia,” SWMC’s Diagnostic Imaging director, Kelly Denton, explained. “Patients diagnosed with these conditions early enough can discuss with their providers options for treatment.”
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends a bone density scan for postmenopausal women over the age of 50, men age 50 and older with risk factors, and for individuals who have experienced a broken bone after the age of 50. A DEXA screen is a painless exam which uses two low-radiation X-ray beams to measure the density of bones. Patients undergoing this screening rest on an open X-ray table while the DEXA unit takes measurements, often anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes in duration.
“We are excited to have this new unit in place to help serve patients in our community and ensure they are able to maintain good health and mobility throughout their lifetime,” Denton added. “We encourage our patients to speak with their health provider about preventative screenings such as these to help build a more comprehensive look into their overall health.”