X-Ray, Fluoroscopy, & DXA
We are pleased to offer a full-line of radiology services.
We provide three x-ray rooms, which includes two fluoroscopy suites. Our team of experienced and registered technologists ensure expert, compassionate care to all of our patients. We are also a Learning Facility for future radiologic technologists who are enrolled in the University of Alaska’s Radiologic Technology program.
Our radiology services include:
These exams utilize a fluoroscope, making it possible to see internal organs in motion. Most of the tests we do are to image the gastrointestinal tract. Another test is often ordered by fertility specialists to view the female reproductive organs, and is called an HSG.
Fluoroscopy uses a continuous X-ray beam to create a sequence of images that are projected onto a fluorescent screen, or television-like monitor. When used with a contrast material, the area being examined is more clearly defined. This special X-ray technique makes it possible for the physician to view internal organs in motion (real time imaging). Still images are also captured and stored electronically.
Fluoroscopy studies do require some preparation, and must be scheduled in advance.
What to expect during your bone density testing or DXA
During a comprehensive examination with DXA, you lie comfortably still on a padded table while the DXA unit scans two or more areas, usually the fracture-prone hip and spine.
Unlike typical X-ray machines, radiation exposure during bone densitometry is extremely low - less than the radiation exposure during a coast-to-coast airline flight. The entire process takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, depending on the number of sites scanned. It involves no injections or invasive procedures. DXA is a fast, convenient and precise way to determine a percentage of change from previous scans, and to help determine your risk of developing osteoporosis and future fractures.
Preparing for your DXA exam
Wear comfortable clothing without zippers or metal if possible (the metal creates a false reading). Patient gowns are also available. No special prep is necessary. Do not schedule nuclear medicine or studies with Barium prep (like a fluoroscopy study, or certain MRI or CT exams) within ten days before your bone density exam as the contrast used in these tests will also cause a false reading. Please refrain from taking any calcium supplements 24 hours before a bone density exam.
About your DXA exam results - your T Score
This number shows the amount of bone you have compared with a young adult of the same gender with peak bone mass. A score above -1 is considered normal. A score between -1 and -2.5 is classified as osteopenia, the first stage of bone loss. A score below -2.5 is defined as osteoporosis. The T score is used to estimate your risk of developing a fracture.
About body fat analysis with DXA
Most people now understand that to have a healthier body means to have a leaner body. These people are ready for Body Fat Analysis (BFA). Currently, this test does require a doctor's order as it utilizes a small amount of x-ray.
A relatively new technology that is very accurate and precise, BFA is based on a three-compartment model that divides the body into total body mineral, fat-free soft (lean) mass, and fat tissue mass.
The scanner passes across a person's supine body and collects data. A scan takes between 10-20 minutes. It is safe and noninvasive with little burden to the individual, although a person must lie still throughout the procedure. The best results are achieved when patients change into a gown in order to prevent any false readings from snaps/zippers etc. in the clothing.
DXA is fast becoming the new "gold standard" for body fat analysis because it provides a higher degree of precision in only one measurement and has the ability to show exactly where fat is distributed throughout the body. It is very reliable and its results extremely repeatable; in addition, the method is safe and presents little burden to the patient.