The Society for Vascular Surgery, representing the nation’s 2,400 vascular surgeons, is now recommending 3 separate screening tests for patients 55 years of age or older who have cardiovascular risk factors. The risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, known cardio-vascular disease, or family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms.
The first screening test is a carotid ultrasound to detect fatty plaque in the neck arteries which could lead to a stroke. The second is an “ankle-brachial” test to detect fatty deposits in the arteries in the legs and throughout the body. The third screening test is an abdominal ultrasound to see if the body’s main artery, the aorta, has a dangerous bulge called an aneurysm.
The cost of these 3 screening tests could approach $1,000. However some hospitals and clinics provide the screenings for free. Also, check out this web site for vascular medical groups which provide the screenings at no cost.