The majority of people with cardiovascular disease do not exhibit any discernible symptoms, according to John Gocke, MD, medical director of the Vascular Labs at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital and Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. However, vascular screenings can identify key warning indicators not only of stroke and aneurysm but also of elevated heart attack risk and peripheral arterial disease.
“These screenings can provide peace of mind, particularly for those who have lost family members to stroke or heart or vascular disease and are concerned they also might be at risk. Screenings can lead to the early detection and treatment of these silent killers,” Dr. Gocke said.
In addition to family history, other risk factors for vascular disease include smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Patients can request one or all three of the following screening examinations without a doctor’s order: abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), carotid artery stenosis and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). All of the exams are non-invasive and safe, performed with ultrasound and standard blood pressure measurements on the arms and at the ankles.
Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital now offers these low-cost vascular screenings to patients who may be at risk for developing strokes, abdominal aortic aneurysms or peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
“Carotid artery screening with ultrasound actually gives us a picture of what’s going on inside the arteries leading to the brain,” Dr. Gocke said. “And when we identify someone with an abnormal PAD screen – which could indicate a blocked leg artery – we’ve also identified someone who’s at twice the risk of death from a heart attack.”
Test results are mailed to the patient’s home and a copy can be sent directly to the patient’s own physician. “We’re offering these screenings to identify those who may have no symptoms at all but who are at higher risk for stroke, heart attack or aneurysm rupture so action can be taken to prevent a catastrophic illness later,” Dr. Gocke said.
For more information, or to find a physician, call us at 866-533-7968.