Oncologist Dr. Belinda Yeoh and a patient


BMD Consumer Information

Appointments- The Bone Density Unit operates five days a week Monday to Friday

What is a Bone Mineral Density scan?

A Bone Mineral Density (BMD) scan is acquired using Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA). These scans are very reproducible (repeat measurements are around 1 %).

This may mean changing into a gown. You lie on your back on a padded table and the arm of the scanner will move slowly over top of you. The scan will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

A small amount of X-rays are used to acquire the information and the radiation dose you will receive is about the amount you would get from walking around Melbourne for a couple of hours.

Preparation for a Bone Mineral Density Scan

You do not need to fast at all. All metal objects are removed from the areas being scanned prior to getting on the table as the presence of metal will give inaccurate results – this includes body piercing.

It is essential that no CT scans or x-rays where an injection or drink is involved be performed within a 2 week period prior to the Bone Density scan as this will affect results. A Nuclear Medicine must not be performed within a period of 2 days prior to the Bone Density scan.

It is necessary for you to be able to lie still for 5 minutes so we can get the necessary scans.

My Results

The results will be available to a doctor who works within Austin Health within an hour of the completion of the scan on the Hospital computer system.

Doctors from outside of the hospital could take up to seven days to receive the results depending on the way they receive the results. Some doctors have access to the results electronically and can access the results the same day.

The doctor will discuss the results with you as this test is only a part of the information that your doctor uses to form a plan for your treatment.


Medicare has very strict criteria on who they will pay for and how often. If you are eligible for this rebate you will be Bulk Billed otherwise there will be a cost for the scan.