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carotid artery screening

ultrasound carotid artery screening

Carotid artery stenosis screening is often done using ultrasound, a painless test that uses sound waves to create a picture of the carotid arteries. Health care professionals can look at the pictures to see whether the arteries are narrowed or blocked by plaque which could cause stroke.

Stenosis

Stenosis of the carotid arteries is an accumulation of plaque which limits the amount of blood flow to the brain. Plaque accumulation can be prevented by controlling blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol, and lessened with smoking cessation and engaging in a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Facts

Carotid artery stenosis is one of many risk factors for a stroke, a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. The main risk factors include old age, being male, high blood pressure, smoking, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.

Symptoms:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face or limbs, often on only one side of the body
  • Sudden trouble speaking and understanding 
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden dizziness or loss of balance
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Carotid Artery Screening 

In a carotid artery screening, individuals undergo ultrasound (US) imaging to get an inside look of the carotid arteries.

Ultrasound Imaging

Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning, sonography or carotid duplex, is a safe and painless way to produce pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Conventional US involves the use of a small transducer (probe) to expose the body to high-frequency sound waves. Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood flow – including both its speed and direction – through a blood vessel.

Carotid artery screening is a great way to determine if you have carotid artery stenosis which is the leading cause of stroke. Early detection can help prevent the potential devastating effects of suffering a stroke. Having a stroke can result in brain damage, partial or total paralysis, speech difficulties and even death.

Who Should Get the Preventive Health Screening?

Every adult benefits from preventative health screening, it’s an opportunity to get a glimpse into the future when it comes to your overall health and wellness. Knowing months or years before suffering from a stroke will increase your ability to prevent it from ever happening, and it’s exactly why having a carotid artery ultrasound screening done sooner rather than later is so beneficial.

When Should the Carotid Artery Be Checked?

At-risk individuals that are 55 years or older should have a carotid artery test, especially if you are at high cardiovascular risk with a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol or have cardiovascular disease.

carotid artery screening

How to Prepare for the Carotid Artery Test

Preparation for your carotid artery screening is minimal – dress comfortably and wear loose clothing.

What Happens After the Screening?

Because this is a non-invasive test, there is no downtime. You’ll be able to drive yourself to and from your appointment and go about your day. 

How Long Does it Take to Get the Test Results?

The radiologist will review the images, and create a comprehensive report based on the carotid images. This report of your carotid artery screening results will be available to you in your Craft Medical Records System dashboard and your results can be discussed with your doctor. They will be able to explain the findings and, if necessary, you can start making the necessary changes to reduce your risk and prevent a stroke.

Cost of Carotid Artery Screening

We provide a variety of scans that will serve as a preventive measure when it comes to heart disease. Our carotid artery screening cost begins at $330

Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We can discuss the screening process and answer all of your questions.

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