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Stillwater Medical Center offers three simple, painless ultrasound procedures designed to detect vascular disease early – before symptoms appear and before individuals have been diagnosed with vascular disease. Vascular Disease Screenings use ultrasound to examine the carotid arteries and the abdominal section of the aorta. In addition, it checks the arterial pressure in the legs.
Below is a brief explanation of each vascular screening exam and why it may be a valuable tool in saving your life.
Carotid Artery Screenings
The carotid artery exam screens for plaque build-up in the main arteries that supply the brain with blood. Stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is interrupted by a burst vessel or clogged artery. More than 50% of stroke victims have no warning signs. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US and the leading cause of disability in adults, responsible for the majority of nursing home admissions. About 700,000 people suffer strokes each year.
Aortic Aneurysm Screening
The aortic aneurysm occurs when the walls of an artery weaken and the pressure from within causes the walls to bulge outward. If the walls bulge too much, rupture can occur. The aortic aneurysm screen looks for these bulges. Most patients experience no symptoms until a rupture nears. According to the American Vascular Association, more than 15,000 Americans die from ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms each year.
Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a vascular condition in which the arteries supplying blood to the lower extremities become narrowed or clogged by plaque. Not only does this cause leg pain, but it is also a very strong indicator of coronary artery disease. However, about 50 percent of people with PAD do not have any symptoms at all. Those who have PAD have a 2-3 times greater risk for stroke and four times the increased risk for heart attack. The Peripheral Artery Disease scan is a doppler exam that quickly determines if there is any impairment in the circulation to the limbs and can identify blockages in the leg arteries.
Vascular Screenings are recommended for people with one or more of the following risk factors:
All tests are performed on site at Stillwater Medical Center by a Registered Sonographer in an ACR accredited lab and will be read by a Board Certified Radiologist. In addition, results will be mailed to the physician of your choice. Screenings are done as a self-referral which means you do not have to have a physician’s order to schedule the procedure. Currently Medicare and most private health insurance companies do not cover the exam; therefore, expenses may be out of pocket for the patient.
Call 405.742.5622 to schedule your Vascular Screenings.