Cardiovascular disease (heart and circulatory disease) causes more than one in four deaths in the UK, or around 160,000 deaths a year. This figure includes deaths from stroke, heart attack, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and atrial fibrillation.
How Can Stroke Screenings Help?
Because strokes and heart attacks are so-called “silent killers,” since they rarely show symptoms and strike without warning, it makes sense to monitor your vascular health (which is the health of your arteries). Vascular Stroke Screening is a comprehensive package of ultrasound scans and tests, which can give you a representative snapshot of the condition of your arteries.
Finding out if you have a problem with your arteries gives you the opportunity to lower your risk factors for a stroke or heart attack before it happens by making lifestyle changes, such as exercising more, quitting smoking, and losing weight. , in addition to taking medications. to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and control blood sugar.
What is included in vascular stroke detection?
Our package of scans costs £ 179 and is available to men over the age of 45, the purpose is to examine three key areas of the body to assess the status of their vascular system (arteries).
These tests include:
An abdominal aorta scan: The aorta is the main blood vessel that runs from the heart to the abdomen and the rest of the body. It is usually about the width of a hose (about 2 cm), but if the wall weakens, it can “bulge” (this is called aortic dilation) to twice the size at 5.5 cm and may be in danger of bursting. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm and is rare but very serious because if it bursts it can cause fatal bleeding. A rupture accounts for one in 50 deaths in men over 65 and causes 6,000 deaths a year in England. The Ultrasound Direct scan of your aorta will examine the aorta for signs of an abdominal aortic aneurysm and will also examine the iliac arteries, a network of arteries that supply various areas of the body, including the lower extremities and pelvis. The scan will look for signs of narrowing caused by calcification (fatty deposits) or accumulation of thrombi (clotted blood) and can also monitor aortic dilation (swelling of the aorta).
If an abdominal aortic aneurysm is found, the renal and renal arteries will also be monitored.
A carotid scan: The carotid arteries are in the front of your neck and carry oxygenated blood to the brain. When the carotid arteries narrow due to plaque buildup, the risk of having a stroke increases. Carotid artery disease accounts for 20 out of 100 of all strokes. Our Doppler ultrasound exam will verify the size; condition and blood flow of the carotid arteries, from their origin to where they divide in two, to supply different areas of the brain / head. We will also review the internal and external carotid arteries and the vertebral arteries. The examination will check for plaque buildup and narrowing.
A scan for peripheral arterial disease: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is where the arteries begin to narrow; it affects one in five men aged 50 to 75 years and one in eight women of the same age group. It mainly affects the arteries that supply blood to the legs. The main symptom of PAD is pain in one or both legs when walking (this is called intermittent claudication), but only one in four people experience any symptoms, so the scan is a good idea as it can help. build an image of your arteries. . Ultrasound Direct uses a Doppler scan to measure blood flow in the brachial arteries in both arms and also takes a blood pressure measurement in the arm and ankle while a person is at rest, called an ankle brachial index. The Doppler scan also checks the tibial arteries in both legs. The tests will help your sonographer determine if you have signs of PAD and can also help with ongoing monitoring of aortic dilation.
If you have PAD, exercising 30 minutes a day (walking is considered the best way) has been shown to improve PAD symptoms by stimulating the growth of a network of smaller blood vessels and improving blood flow to the legs.
We will provide a report from a sonographer at the time of the scan with a recommendation for medical follow-up if necessary.
Getting ready for your vascular stroke detection
Before your appointment, you will be asked to fast for eight hours; therefore, skip breakfast if your appointment is in the morning and skip lunch if it is in the afternoon. Limit yourself to clear liquids (black tea or coffee is allowed). Diabetics can eat but should avoid dairy / fatty products.
We recommend that you wear a loose fitting top, which is easy to put on and take off, as it will expose your upper and lower abdomen, neck, arms and ankles.
Written by Arlene Delmendo