This service is available at the Riverside and Pointe West locations.
- Pointe West
What is a Wellness Screening?
A wellness screening is a group of ultrasound screenings that take images of your internal arteries.
A wellness screening consists of the following tests:
- Carotid Artery Screen: Screening of the carotid arteries is achieved with non-invasive ultrasound. The carotid arteries are found on each side of the neck. These arteries carry blood to the brain. Ultrasound is used to view inside the artery and detect plaque that may reduce or block blood flow to the brain – the cause of stroke.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screen: Screening of the aorta is achieved with noninvasive ultrasound. The aorta is the main artery that originates from the heart and courses down the mid-abdomen. Scanning of the abdominal aorta starts from below the sternum to the navel. Ultrasound of the abdominal aorta is used to screen for detection of abdominal aortic aneurysm – an enlargement of the aorta that can lead to a ruptured aorta.
- Peripheral Arterial Disease Screen: ABI (Ankle/Brachial Index) is used to screen for Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) or Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), which is caused by atherosclerotic blockages, or the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Atherosclerosis can lead to a heart attack or stroke. ABI uses blood pressure cuffs applied to both upper arms and ankles. A pressure reading is recorded at these sites.
Who Should be Screened?
Asymptomatic participants should be screened. Individuals who are symptomatic are not appropriate for screening studies and should see their doctor. Screenings cannot replace diagnostic examination for symptomatic individuals. The purpose of screening exams is to provide early intervention so individuals may re-evaluate their lifestyle and make necessary changes.
Individuals with a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm should be screened. Any individual who is a current or former smoker should also be screened. The United State Preventative Services Task Force recommends abdominal aortic aneurysm screening for males 65-75 who have smoked 100 or more cigarettes in their lifetime.
Many studies have shown even a slightly decreased ABI may be associated with subsequent development of cardiovascular effects.
Risk Factors That Contribute to Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke:
- Cholesterol disorders
- High blood pressure
- Overweight or obese
- Physically inactive
Do I Need a Doctor’s Order?
No, because most physicians can only order diagnostic tests if you are experiencing symptoms. They are usually not able to order wellness screenings as a preventive measure because insurance will not cover them.
There is no preparation required for this exam. Registered technologists perform all exams. Board-certified radiologists review screening results.