Understanding a body composition scan

A body composition scan uses a Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scanner, which looks like a large, flat table with an “arm” suspended overhead.

The scanner assesses the body composition with low-dose x-rays in a comfortable, non-invasive way.

Who needs a body composition scan?

Anyone can potentially derive value from the results of a Body Composition Scan.  It is an ideal test for both athletes and individuals in weight management or fitness programs who would like to gauge their progress or simply measure their body fat.

The scan assessment produces colour images displaying the distribution of lean muscle mass, fat mass and bone with a percentage breakdown, translating the information into an easy to interpret the report.

Body Composition Scans are not covered by Alberta health care. It is a private pay exam. The cost to you is $75.00. Although it is a private pay exam, we do require a referral from your doctor.

A journey to a healthier you

A body composition scan is a whole body assessment that gives you a blueprint for improving your health. Your doctor, a trainer, or even a physiotherapist might recommend you to have a body composition scan.

You will get an accurate picture of how your weight is distributed and find out how you match up against the World Health Organization’s ideal body fat percentages.

Once you have a better understanding of your body, you can use that knowledge to continue to work towards becoming the healthiest you can be.

What to expect

Do not take calcium or vitamins on the morning before your test.

Wear loose-fitting clothing. You may be asked to change into a gown.

Remove all jewelry and clothing with metal or buttons.

You cannot have a diagnostic imaging exam involving barium or x-ray dye in the week before the exam.

The exam takes 15 minutes and you will be required to lie still for 7 minutes.

You will be provided with a report. The technologists will spend a few minutes after the exam going through the report with you and answering questions.

Download Prep Sheet

Have Questions about Body Mass Composition Scans?

If you have any questions or concerns about Body Mass Composition scans, please contact Tricia Adams, Body Mass Composition Manager at CAMIS.