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What is a DEXA body composition scan?

A DEXA body composition analysis scan, also known as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, is considered the “gold standard” method and more precise than other methods like BMI, Inbody, BodyPod and hydrostatic weighing. The FDA-approved DEXA uses x-ray technology combined with software to measure your height, muscle and fat in your body. It essentially gives you a detailed snapshot of how your body weight breaks down into fat and lean tissue.

Why do I need a DEXA body composition scan?

It is important to understand your body composition if you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle or both. Your health guide will recommend if you are a good candidate for a DEXA body scan. If so, we recommend an initial scan to establish a baseline. Follow up scans may be recommended to review your progress and determine if you are meeting your weight loss or muscle mass goals.

How safe is the DEXA body composition scan?

The DEXA uses very weak x-ray beams to detect the composition of each square inch of your body. These results give you not only a total body fat percentage, but also complete visualization and analysis of your lean tissue.

How do I get ready for a DEXA body composition scan?

  • There is no preparation for the scan, therefore, no need to stop taking any medications or refrain from eating prior to exam.
  • Tell the technologist if you are pregnant or think you may be.
  • Based on your medical condition, your healthcare provider may give you other instructions on what to do before the test.
  • Table weight limit is 350 lbs.

What happens during the DEXA body composition scan?

  • You will be asked to change into a gown and remove all metallic objects, jewelry, dental appliances and eye glasses.
  • You will be positioned on an X-ray table, lying flat on your back.
  • Under the table, a photon generator will pass slowly beneath you, while an x-ray detecting camera passes above the table parallel to the photon generator beneath. Together, they project pictures of the whole body from head to feet onto a computer screen. You will be asked to stay very still and not talk during the scan.
  • The entire scan takes about 15 minutes.

After you complete a DEXA body composition scan you will get

  • A comparison of a reference population and where your body fat percentage falls
  • Where your BMI falls in underweight, normal, overweight, obese
  • Fat distribution (android/ gynoid %)
  • Resting metabolic rate estimate
  • Relative skeletal muscle index (skeletal muscle in legs/arms)
  • Lean mass balance between right and left side


The body composition scan is a $75.00 out of pocket expense and is not covered by insurance.

Get started

Request an appointment online or by calling 512-483-9595 to learn more about the program and get started.

*DEXA scans do not include bone density information. You must have an order from your Primary Care Physician (PCP) for a bone density exam. If your PCP has instructed you to book an appointment for an osteoporosis or bone density scan, please complete the online Request Appointment Form or call 512-272-4636 to schedule your appointment.