Ultrasound vascular health screening is a unique, painless, non-invasive test that is recommended for select patients based upon certain guidelines. This test allows physicians to identify individuals who have atherosclerosis – a hardening of the arteries that can cause dire consequences such as heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, or clots in the arms or legs – well before it can be detected by blood or stress tests.
This test also provides patients with a benchmark of their heart and vascular risk for disease. Based upon the results of this screening, we will provide counseling to teach strategies to improve cardiovascular health and overall wellness in order to reduce the risks for the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. We will provide you with personalized guidance regarding exercise, dietary changes, strategies to help you quit smoking, and other ways to control your risks for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular health.
Who Should Undergo Vascular Screening?
Our Vascular Screening Program is designed for people between the ages of 40 and 70 years old who do not have a known history of heart disease. Vascular health screening improves assessment of cardiovascular risk, especially for individuals who smoke and/or have a family history of:
- Heart disease
- Cholesterol disorders
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Diabetes type I and II
What Happens During a Vascular Screening Test?
A vascular screening test is a safe and non-invasive ultrasound imaging study in which you will be asked to lay on your back for 30-40 minutes while we apply a small amount of gel to your neck. We will then use an ultrasound wand to send sound beams through your neck to determine the size of your carotid artery. As the walls of the carotid artery become thicker, the risk of having a blood clot increases.
Vascular screening tests are preferable to heart scans as these tests are less expensive, do not expose you to radiation, and are a reliable predictor of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risks.