$99 vascular screening could save your life
Procrastination is in our human nature: We often wait until the last moment to file taxes or take our time with necessary housework. We then get annoyed by the sometimes costly consequences and learn our lesson. However, when we procrastinate with taking care of our health, the outcome can be, frankly, deadly.
Let us be reminded during this American Heart Month to take preventive measures, which will help us enjoy good health and many special occasions shared with our families and friends.
The AMITA Health Heart & Vascular Institute makes it easy and cost effective by offering a $99 vascular disease screening.
Dr. Georges Haidar, a vascular surgeon with AMITA Health, encourages those of us who meet the screening criteria to take advantage of the low-cost screening.
Who should get a vascular screening?
"Patients who are 55 years-of-age and have certain risk factors are best served by a vascular screening," Dr. Haidar explained. "If you suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure) or high cholesterol, for example. If you have a personal history of cardiovascular disease or even a family history of cardiovascular disease, you should also get screened. If you smoke or you used to smoke, you should get tested as well."
What does it involve?
When it comes to medical testing, many of us put it off because we're anxious about what's involved in the process.
Dr. Haidar assures that the vascular screening is painless and efficient.
"A vascular technologist will use ultrasound to look for blockages in the carotid arteries -- if left untreated, these blockages could result in a stroke. The technologist then takes a Duplex ultrasound of abdominal aorta looking for aneurysms that could potentially rupture and cause life-threatening internal bleeding," he explained.
"Finally, blood pressure in the legs or ABI (ankle brachial index) is measured to detect peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which without proper medical attention, could lead to poor wound healing and in severe cases, potential limb loss."
What happens next?
Recently, one of Dr. Haidar's patients, a 61-year-old man with history of smoking and family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm, took advantage of the vascular screening at AMITA Health.
"My patient's father died when he was 67 from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm," the physician noted. "During the screening, we discovered that my patient had a 5.7 cm abdominal aortic aneurysm, which poses a significant risk of rupturing, so we scheduled a surgical repair to prevent that."
Dr. Haidar is happy to report that his patient has now educated his siblings and children about the vital importance of vascular disease screening, and family members will be able to benefit from the simple procedure that could save their lives like it saved his.
"This is what we do on a daily basis," Dr. Haidar said, "and it does actually save lives."
To learn more go to www.amitahealth.org/vascularcare, or better yet, to make an appointment for a $99 vascular disease screening, call (877) 596-7275.