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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Browse the most commonly asked questions below and, if you can’t find the answer, there’s a form at the bottom of the page.

Having the scan

How do I prepare for a DEXA scan?

We simply ask that you fast (don’t eat) for at least four hours before the scan and be normally hydrated with water. That way, you won’t have a big meal in your stomach, which could affect the results. You’ll also know to be in the same state when you have your next scan.

Also, please don’t do heavy exercise, like a big run or a heavy workout.

What do I wear for the body scan?

Men – Nearly all men have the scan in their underwear, though if you prefer you can ask for a hospital gown. You can get changed in privacy behind a curtain.

Women – You will be asked to change into a hospital gown in a curtained changing area for privacy. Underneath the gown you should remove all clothing except underpants. You can wear a non-wired bra (eg, a sports bra) but not a traditional wired bra. Alternatively, both men and women can wear loose-fitting sports clothing with no metal attachments or zips, such as cotton shorts and a sports top.

Alternatively you can wear loose-fitting gym gear, such as light shorts and a T-shirt.

Do not wear anything too restrictive or tight-fitting, such as lycra or figure-hugging clothes.

Are DEXA body scans safe?

The DEXA scan uses a tiny dose of ionising radiation (X-rays) to measure your body composition. To put the dose and the risk in perspective, it is equivalent to eating 50 grams of Brazil nuts, and less than one day’s normal background radiation that we each receive every day from outer space and the earth’s natural radiation.

To put it another way, you are effectively having a DEXA body scan every day without even knowing it. The dose is so low that the UK Health Protection Agency’s (now Public Health England) Radiation Protection Division (HPA-RPD) describes the risk from the radiation dose of a body scan as “negligible”.

How long does a DEXA scan take?

The actual scan takes less than four minutes but your first appointment with a consultation lasts up to an hour. It is to ensure you fully understand everything in the report, interpret your personal results and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

When you have a follow-up scan to check your progress, the scan is exactly the same but there is no detailed consultation. The appointment is just 20 minutes, which is enough time to briefly discuss what progress you have made since your previous scan. One of the pages of your Progress report will show precise changes in fat and lean mass between your latest scan and the previous scans (up to five previous scans).

Is a DEXA scan uncomfortable or claustrophobic?

A DEXA body scan is non-intrusive and completely pain free, so there is no need to be anxious or nervous. There are no injections and nothing is attached to you. In fact, many Bodyscan clients say they find the experience calming and relaxing and sometimes fall asleep!

You will lie on a padded mattress and a scanning arm will pass over you three times. The DEXA machine is not like an MRI or CT ‘doughnut’ scanner in that you do not go ‘inside’ the machine. So don’t worry if you suffer from claustrophobia, you will not feel any sense of confinement at all. The scanning arm passes at least 30cm (12 inches) away from your body. You will need to remain still during the scan but you should be relaxed and breathe normally. Relax and imagine you are lying on the beach! The scan itself takes less than four minutes and the Bodyscan operator will be in the room with you and can stop the scan immediately if you feel uncomfortable.

Can I have a DEXA scan with a Pacemaker or metal implants?

If you have any implants of any material, such as a hip or knee replacement or a Pacemaker or stents, again, don’t worry, the scan can go ahead as normal. Metal implants will show up as dense bone on your Bodyscan report but they will not affect the fat and lean data. There is no risk to the operation of your Pacemaker.

How frequently can I have a scan?

You can have a scan every eight weeks (56 days). The optimum period for most people is 12 weeks to track meaningful, measurable changes but if you are on a shorter or more ambitious fat-loss/muscle-building programme then a shorter interval of at least eight weeks may be appropriate.

Can I bring someone with me to the body scan?

If you would like to bring a friend or relative with you, they can be with you during the introduction and the consultation but not during the scan itself, which is about four minutes.

However, a chaperone, nurse or carer can be with you during the scan if required. They will have to sign a form to remain in the room during the scan. It would be helpful if you could drop us an email and let us know in advance.

Our operators are male, so if you require a female chaperone please let us know and we will arrange for a female member of staff from our host clinics to join you. Again, it would be helpful if you could let us know in advance.

Does a DEXA body scan measure bone density?

This is a frequent question and the short answer is ‘no’ (but it depends on your objectives). If your prime reason for having the DEXA scan is low bone density or osteoporosis then please do NOT book a body scan with us.

We’ve made this video to explain the differences between body scans and bone scans.

Whilst the machine is the same for measuring bone density and body composition, they are two very different types of scan. The Bodyscan report DOES give a good indication of your bone density but this is only an indication and not a definitive, diagnosable result. In other words, it’s not a result a doctor would make any firm decisions on.

Nevertheless, if the indication was unusually high or low then we would advise you see your GP or a bone specialist for specialist advice.

However, if your primary reason for coming to Bodyscan is your body composition (which it should be!) then the indication of your bone density is certainly very useful to know. As your bone density is unknown (until you break a bone or have a bone scan) we have had many customers we’ve advised to seek specialist medical attention based on the body scan’s bone density indication.

If you require a dedicated bone scan in relation to low bone density and osteoporosis, you can request these from your GP or get one privately. Our host clinic in Marylebone, London Medical, performs these one day a week and you can arrange them by calling 08000 483 330. For facilities local to you, Google ‘private DEXA bone scan’.

Can I have a female consultant?

All our consultants are currently male so we can’t offer you a female at this time.

However, we do operate a chaperone policy so if you would like a female member of staff to be in the room during your welcome chat, while you get changed (behind a privacy curtain) and during the scan, we can arrange that with advance notice. Please email us in advance.

Bookings

Are you open at weekends?

Bodyscan City (on Cornhill near Bank tube station) is usually open on alternate Saturdays.

When you start to make a booking, once you have picked your preferred location you will be presented with a calendar of available dates and times.

Bodyscan W1 (Marylebone) is not open at weekends.

How do I cancel or change my appointment?

All bookings, changes and cancellations should be made online by signing in to your account then selecting ‘Your bookings’.

Click on the booking and then click ‘Change’ next to the aspect of the booking you wish to change or click ‘Cancel my booking’ at the bottom of the page.

You must confirm any changes and re-accept the terms and conditions

We operate a 24-hour change and cancellation policy, so changes are not possible if your appointment is less than 24 hours away.

If you are inside the 24 window you can call 020 3490 4171 and request the change or cancellation but we will only waive the 24-hour policy at our absolute discretion (and this will depend on how far in advance your are requesting the change or cancellation and how busy we are).

Refunds of payments and package credits

Our 24-hour cancellation policy means that if you cancel within 24 hours of your appointment you will forfeit your full payment or the pre-paid credit you have used. We will only waive this policy at our absolute discretion

The promotion code I have doesn’t work 🙁

Bodyscan discount and promotion codes are only valid against selected single scans (Baseline and Progress scans), NOT pre-paid packages. The terms and validity of any code will vary depending on the promotion. If your code doesn’t work it’s because the offer has expired or doesn’t apply to your selected scan.

I’m having real problems making a booking. Help!

If you have persistent problems making a booking it is almost certainly due to the security or anti-virus software/settings on your computer. Please try another browser and it will usually work.

If you continue to have problems you can phone us on 020 3490 4171 but it will make things much easier and quicker if you can register your details here before calling.

Do you offer DEXA scans for two people?

Yes, we offer the Baseline scan and all VF packages (that is, packages that include the Baseline scan) for two people.

You can see all our prices here.

The 2-person Baseline is exactly the same as the Baseline scan for one person but has a joint consultation (so be prepared for your buddy to see your results!) and is a bit cheaper than buying two individual scans.

To book a pre-paid package for two or more people, send us an email.

How can I check availability for DEXA body scans?

To check precise availability you should start to make a booking and you’ll be presented with a calendar of available dates and times. You can back out of the booking at any time before payment.

How do I book a DEXA body scan?

All our bookings are taken online.

Your first booking must be the Baseline Scan for one person or for two people.

If you are new to Bodyscan you will create an account as you make the booking. If you have been to us before and/or if you have a pre-paid package you must sign in and select ‘New booking’ to book your next appointment.

How much is a DEXA scan?

All our prices are on our pricing page.

How do I book if I have a pre-paid package?

To book using one of your pre-paid package credits, you need to sign in and select ‘New booking’.

The price of the booking will be shown but a credit will be used in lieu of payment.

How do I make a DEXA scan booking for the same day?

If you want to make an appointment for a time within the next 24 hours you must register your details first or be an existing customer.

Once registered, you will need to call us on 020 3490 4171 and ask for availability. We must have your details in the system to create a same-day appointment, so if you you do not register before you call or are not an existing customer we will not be able to help you.

Pre-paid packages

How long does a pre-paid package last? (Answer: one year!)

All our packages are valid for one year from the date of purchase. Unused credits will be forfeited unless you choose to extend the package at a cost of £30 per credit per ten weeks past the date of expiry.

How do I buy a pre-paid package?

To buy a money-saving package of two or more scans, click here. You will need to create an account, which will hold your credits, or be an existing customer.

How do I book a scan with a pre-paid package

To book using one of your pre-paid package credits, you need to sign in and select ‘New booking’. The price of the booking will be shown but a credit will be used in lieu of payment.

The first scan in a VF package will be the Baseline scan with Consultation. All the subsequent scans will be Progress scans.

Why can’t I change the date of my package booking?

If you have a booking made with a package credit and changing the date results in a request for payment, the most likely reason is that your package expires before the new date you want to move to.

You can check the expiry date of your package by signing in and selecting ‘Your Prepaid Credits’.

How do I cancel my pre-paid package?

You can only cancel a package if it has not expired and if there are unused scans in the package.

Refunds will be based on the full list price of completed scans. For example, if you buy the VF4 package for a single payment of £399 and wish to cancel after completing the first two scans, the refund will be calculated as £399 minus £169 for the first scan and £139 for the second scan – a refund of £91. If the third scan had been completed in this example, no refund would be given as the full list price of the first three scans is more than the entire package price.

Packages paid for by direct debit on our Easy Payment Plan will incur an additional transaction fee of £1 for each monthly payment made.

To cancel a package send an email to [email protected].

Can I extend my pre-paid package?

Yes, if there are unused scans in your package you can extend your package for a cost of £30 per ten weeks beyond the date of expiry. To do this please send us an email.

Do you have any Baseline packages for 2 people?

Yes, we offer all VF (Baseline) packages for two people. The prices are shown within each package pricing table on our pricing page.

How do I check my package credits and expiry date?

Just sign in to your and select ‘Your prepaid credits’. You’ll see everything you need to know about your package.

Will you warn me before my package expires?

The short answer is no. (But we are trying to send emails at six months and three months before expiry, but this cannot be guaranteed.

It is therefore your responsibility to use all the scans in your package before the expiry date.

Ultimately, it is for you to work your regime around our packages, not the other way round! So if you’ve “not had a chance to train” or “didn’t stick to my diet like I hoped” we’re not going to make an exception. Harsh but fair!

Can I split the scans in a package between me and a friend?

No. All the scans in a package can only be used by the person in whose name they are booked (the account into which the credits are placed).

What are the full terms and conditions for packages?

1. Packaged scans are not transferable; the person in whose name all scans are booked must be the same person who has each scan.

2. All scans, whether purchased individually or in packages, cannot be taken more frequently than once every eight weeks (56 days).

3. All packages have a validity period of 12 months from date of purchase (not from the date of your first booked scan), except for VF5, which is valid for 18 months. Therefore do not purchase a package until you are ready to book the first scan.

4. The expiry date of each package is the last available date you can have a scan (it is not the last available date you can make a booking).

5. It is your responsibility to know when your package expires and how many scan credits you have left. You can manage all aspects of your Bodyscan account by signing in to your account from the home page.

6. PACKAGE EXTENSIONS: Packages can only be extended once and for a maximum of ten weeks (70 days) per credit past the expiry date. Extension request should be made by email.

6A. If your package expired more than ten weeks before your request, it cannot be extended and all your unused credits will be forfeited.

6B. You may only reinstate unused credits once but can choose to reinstate one, some or all unused credits for a charge of £30 per credit and under the 70-day rule. For example, reinstating two unused credits would cost £60 and the package extended to no more than 140 days beyond the expiry date.

7. Promotional codes cannot be applied to packages as they are already discounted.

8. CANCELLATIONS: A package can be cancelled ONLY during the life of the package BEFORE it has expired. Expired packages cannot be cancelled, they can only be extended (as per Point 6 above) or forfeited. Refunds will be based on the full list price of completed scans. For example, if you buy the VF4 package for a single payment of £399 and wish to cancel after completing the first two scans, the refund will be calculated as £399 minus £169 for the first scan and £139 for the second scan – a refund of £91. If the third scan had been completed in this example, no refund would be given as the full list price of the first three scans is more than the entire package price. Packages paid for by direct debit on our Easy Payment Plan will incur an additional transaction fee of £1 for each monthly payment made. Any questions, drop an email to [email protected]

If our FAQs didn’t give you the answer, ask your question here:

Please check our FAQs first!

Our FAQs give info on Prices, Making a Booking, Having the Scan and Prepaid Packages.

QUESTIONS?