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June 12 2018

ProHealth Care offers whole-body composition scanning to analyze fat, muscle and bone

Athletes and people working to maximize their health and fitness may want to consider whole-body composition scanning, a service now offered by ProHealth Care.

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, also known as DXA, is used to scan the entire body and provide detailed data and imagery about body composition.

Radiologist Jennifer Bergin, MD, said the technology is more precise and more accurate than any other method used to assess the composition of fat, lean muscle and bone mass in the body.

“It’s a great motivational tool for people who are starting a weight loss or fitness program,” Dr. Bergin said. “The report is very visual, so a person can see where they carry more body fat and where they can focus their efforts.”

Scans taken at the beginning, midpoint and completion of a fitness program can be helpful. The information can be used to set nutrition, exercise and weight training targets based on body composition. The reports can also be used to measure the achievement of goals.

Because whole-body composition scanning also helps people monitor muscle atrophy and muscle gain in specific places in the body, it can be useful for those who are recovering from injury or training for athletic performance.

In addition, scans reveal the locations and concentrations of visceral fat, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions, as well as breast cancer. Whole-body composition scans are not intended to replace bone mineral density scans or be used for diagnostic purposes.

The imaging process takes about six minutes and is similar to having an X-ray. The individual will lie on the table of the scanner during the screening.

The technology provides quantifiable results, unlike the use of calipers to check body fat. The scanner calculates body composition by using a small amount of radiation – less than one-tenth the dose of a standard chest x-ray and less than a day's exposure to natural background radiation.  

Scan reports are immediately available and include bone mass, fat and lean tissue values; body-fat ratio; and the amount of fat and lean tissue in each body part, such as an arm or leg. A guide is provided to help interpret the results. Scan reports are also sent to the individual’s primary care doctor, recorded in their electronic medical record and can be accessed online through MyChart.

ProHealth Care offers whole-body composition scanning at the ProHealth Medical Group clinics at 195 Discovery Drive in Brookfield and at N16W24131 Riverwood Drive in Pewaukee. Thirty-minute appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can be scheduled by calling 262-928-3000.

Physician referrals are not required for whole-body composition scans. The cost is $99 per appointment and is not covered by health insurance. 

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For more than a century, ProHealth Care has been the health care leader in Waukesha County and surrounding areas, providing outstanding care across a full spectrum of services. The people of ProHealth Care strive to continuously improve the health and well-being of the community by combining skill, compassion and innovation. The ProHealth family includes ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Rehabilitation Hospital of Wisconsin, ProHealth Medical Group, the UW Cancer Center at ProHealth Care, Moreland Surgery Center, ProHealth AngelsGrace Hospice, ProHealth Home Care, ProHealth West Wood Health & Fitness Center and ProHealth Regency Senior Communities. Learn more at ProHealthCare.org.