A NEW bone density scanner has been installed at Llandudno Hospital.

The new Vertec DXA scanner, in the hospital's bone unit, will carry out about 6,000 scans every year on patients from across North Wales.

The scanner will help to diagnose patients with osteoporosis - a silent condition which develops without obvious symptoms.

The diagnosis of osteoporosis is carried out by a bone density scan (DXA) - a special type of X-ray that measures bone mineral density. The unit also sees and treats patients with other metabolic bone disorders such as Paget’s disease of bone and osteomalacia.

Dr Kirsty Maclean, consultant in Metabolic Bone Disease, said: “The new scanner is more up to date with advanced technology.

"As this is the latest model available, it allows us to carry out vertical fracture analysis and femur scanning. Our bone Densitometrists carry out 20 to 25 scans a day.”

The North Wales Bone Unit is one of six units in Wales.

The unit opened in November 2006 and supports patients from across the region living with bone conditions.

Referrals are received from North Wales and some parts of mid-Wales.

Debbie Stone, service delivery lead for Wales for the National Osteoporosis Society, said: “The National Osteoporosis Society Wales Team has supported the ongoing development of the unit’s fracture liaison service over the past three years.

"We are delighted that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has invested in a new DXA scanner.

"The ability to assess fracture risk accurately is key to optimal patient management.”