Advocate South Suburban Hospital
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frequently asked questions

What is a bone density measurement?

Bone density measurement determines your bone mineral density (BMD). Your BMD is compared to that of a young adult of the same sex and race at their peak level of BMD. From this comparison, your physician will determine if any steps should be taken to protect your bones.

Bone density measurement is a rapid, effective way to assess the health of your bones. It is simple, safe, noninvasive and painless, and it doesn't even require you to undress.

Where can I have a bone density measurement taken?

Bone density measurement is performed at Advocate South Suburban Hospital's diagnostic imaging department.

How long does it take?

A measurement takes between 5 and 20 minutes.

How much radiation will I be exposed to?

You will be exposed to very little radiation-in fact, in most cases, less than from a standard chest X-ray. (As with any medical procedure, be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant.)

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing, preferably something without metal buttons, buckles or zippers.

Is a bone density measurement the same as a bone scan?

No. A bone scan requires the injection of radioactive material to identify other bone abnormalities. A bone density measurement requires no special preparation, medication or injection.


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