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Additional diagnostic tests

Additional Diagnostic Tests - Barium Meals & Bone Density Scans

Bone density scan

In addition to the more common tests such as X-rays and ultrasounds, Bupa Cromwell Hospital also offers barium meals (fluoroscopy) and bone density (DEXA) scans to patients who have been referred by their doctor or consultant. 

What is a Barium meal?

Commonly known as a 'barium meal', fluoroscopy uses x-rays to obtain real-time moving images of the stomach, intestine and oesophagus. Because these structures cannot usually be seen clearly with a standard x-ray, barium (a thick white liquid) is used to coat the gut wall.

This makes it possible for the doctor to identify issues such as ulcers, growths, narrowing or blockages by seeing clear moving pictures of the stomach and intestine on a monitor.

For further details read our Bone density scan patient information guide.

What is a Bone Density Scan?

A bone density scan, also known as a DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorbtiometry) scan, uses x-ray technology to look for signs of fragile bones (osteoporosis). You may benefit from having a bone density scan if you have fractured a bone after only a minor fall or bump, or are in a high-risk group for osteoporosis.

The results of the scan help to predict how likely different bones are to fracture, and to monitor how well your osteoporosis treatment is working.

A detector measures how much radiation passes through the bones and works out how dense the bone is, compared to what is normal for someone of your age and sex. A low score indicates the bone is fragile and therefore more likely to fracture.

The test is carried out by using an x-ray machine to slowly pass over the body and take images of the bones being tested. This usually takes 20-30 minutes and is painless.

After the test, the results are sent to the GP or consultant who requested the test.

For further details read our Bone density scan patient information guide.

How do I pay for treatment?

We welcome both insured and self-pay patients as well as company and embassy sponsored patients.

Read more about payment options

For more information on these conditions, treatments and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, please select a subject of interest to you. This information will open in a new window.

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