Ultrasounds: Prevention Screenings

Ultrasounds are a form of imaging using sound waves to produce visuals of the body that can not be seen by the naked eye.  It is the reflection of the sound waves created that produce the final visual image in real time.  Because the screenings are in real time movement is shown allowing the test to be very helpful in detecting conditions of the heart.  Ultrasounds are non-invasive and do not emit any radiation making the screening a painless and safe way to assist in preventing possible health complications. 

What is a stroke?
A stroke is caused by a lack of blood getting to the brain, commonly caused by a blockage or narrowing in the carotid artery.  Symptoms include paralysis of the arm or leg and the loss of speech, vision, or the inability to understand spoken language. With new ultrasound technology, the carotid artery can be screened and blockages can be easily detected. This test is specifically designed to detect buildup of plaque and fatty deposits inside carotid arteries that deliver blood and oxygen to the brain, thus showing if you are at risk for a stroke.

Carotid Artery Screening
Beverly Oncology and Imaging uses painless and non-invasive Doppler color flow ultrasound technology to provide images of the carotid to arteries on both side of your neck and measure the velocity of the blood flow through the vessels. An acoustic gel is applied to the patient's neck while a painless instrument known as a transducer, is moved around the neck to visualize the inside of the carotid artery. The procedure takes approximately three to five minutes and is recommended for men and women over the age of forty.

Peripheral Artery Disease Screening
Peripheral Artery Disease or PAD is a narrowing of the blood vessels in the legs or arms caused by the buildup of fatty plaque. The effects are not only pain and disability but PAD is also a strong predictor of heart disease and puts individuals at higher risk of heart attack and stroke. To screen for the disease, a painless, quick and non-invasive Ankle Brachial Index test is performed using blood pressure cuffs on arms and ankles. The ABI index is a ratio between the pressures in your arms and legs and will identify most cases of PAD.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening
An aneurysm is an abnormal ballooning or enlargement of a blood vessel caused by a breakdown of the lining in the vessel. When the aneurysm reaches approximately five centimeters in size, it is at high risk for rupture. An aneurysm shows no symptoms before rupture occurs.   BOI uses ultrasound-imaging technology to image your abdominal aorta and measure its size along the course of the vessel to detect and prevent rupture of an aneurysm.   Much like the Carotid Artery Screening, an acoustic gel is applied, this time, on your abdomen, while a transducer is moved around your stomach to visualize the inside of the abdominal aorta.

What to expect during screening?
All the screening processes are short, painless, and easy. The only test that requires any sort of preparation is the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening, which requires the patient to fast six hours prior. To ensure accurate results, all screening are reviewed carefully by our qualified technicians

Who should be screened?
It is recommended that people over the age of forty consider these screenings, especially if the individual has diabetes, pre-existing heart disease, a family history of stroke, PAD, or AAA, high blood pressure, hardening of arteries, smokes, and is more than thirty pounds over weight.  Ask your doctor if you are at high risk or may benefit from an ultrasound screening. Please contact Beverly oncology for more information about our imaging services or to schedule an appointment.   
 
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