When a vascular screening is performed, it provides you and your doctor with information that can be used to prescribe treatment or make other changes that reduce your risk in the future. In some cases, it may uncover arterial weakness, blockages, or other factors in need of immediate care.
What is a Vascular Screening?
A vascular screening is used to assess the likelihood of various problems relating to the arteries and blood vessels. That’s the vascular part of the term cardiovascular – which refers to the way your heart, arteries, and veins work together to distribute blood throughout the body.
A screening helps detect early warning signs of issues like stroke, peripheral artery disease, and abdominal aortic aneurysm. It can also help those who are at risk of heart attack.
The Process of Getting a Vascular Screening
A vascular screening usually includes a battery of three different tests:
An ultrasound uses sound waves to develop a diagnostic picture of a part of the body. In this case, it is used to detect the presence of fatty deposits that can block the flow of blood in the neck’s carotid artery. These blockages can potentially contribute to a stroke.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
An aneurysm refers to a weakness in an arterial wall that balloons over time. This can reduce the flow of blood and may ultimately erupt, leading to a serious medical emergency. Many people do not realize that they have this condition until it becomes life-threatening.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
PAD occurs when narrowed blood vessels impede blood flow to the extremities, particularly the legs and feet. This condition worsens over time due to the development of arterial plaque. It can be diagnosed through various noninvasive tests that focus on blood flow through the ankles.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for a Vascular Screening?
You should consider a vascular screening if you have risk factors for any vascular disorder. A family history of stroke, aneurysm, or Peripheral Artery Disease suggests the need for screening, often beginning in the 30s – particularly if other risk factors co-exist.
Significant risk factors for vascular complications include:
- Current or past history of smoking
- Current or past high blood pressure
- Current overweight or obesity
- High stress levels
- An inactive lifestyle
- High cholesterol
Your doctor may recommend that you get a vascular screening if you have recently suffered symptoms that might suggest an issue, like unexplained chest pain. Various other tests, such as stress testing, can also be prescribed in concert with the vascular screening.
Vascular Screening Benefits
The greatest benefit of a vascular screening is its ability to detect health issues that are not yet obvious to the patient. Vascular screening is one of the only effective and noninvasive ways of gauging risk levels for several of the conditions it investigates.
With the data gathered from vascular screening, your doctor can recommend interventions that may help you avoid a serious vascular event in the future. Follow-up vascular screening can be used to judge the effectiveness of medication and other treatments.
Ways to Avoid a Vascular Screening
Even if you are in good health with no risk factors, a vascular screening is a wise idea in your 40s and 50s. That said, you can substantially curb your risk of certain complications by eating right, exercising, maintaining low stress levels, and having a proper sleep schedule. The decision to stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption can also be beneficial.
A vascular screening equips you with useful information to make the right personal healthcare decisions. To find out more or get started, contact Heart Vein NYC.