Brookings Health System to Offer Vascular Screenings Every Wednesday and Thursday Morning

Posted: 7/25/2012

Ultrasonographer Marla Hegdahl performs a carotid ultrasound, one of the three exams offered at Brookings Health System’s new Inspiring Health Vascular Screenings.  Starting on Aug. 1, Brookings Health System’s imaging department will offer Inspiring Health Vascular Screenings every Wednesday and Thursday morning from 8 a.m. to noon.

“Vascular diseases, such as stroke, peripheral artery disease, and abdominal aortic aneurysm, are probably the three most serious, non-cardiac related vascular diseases that afflict Americans. Early detection can help prevent life-threatening or long term disabilities,” said Imaging Services Director Tim Watson. “Screening for these diseases provides a good snapshot of what is going on in the blood vessels and may alert patients to follow-up with their physician if abnormal results are found.”

Vascular screening is recommended for anyone over age 55 or anyone over age 40 who has multiple risk factors, including:

  • Family history of heart disease or stroke
  • History of smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight
  • High stress levels
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes

The screening will consist of three separate exams:

  • Carotid Ultrasound: scans for the build-up of fatty blockages, or plaque, in the carotid arteries in the neck. This condition may lead to a stroke.
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: scans for a ballooning of the wall of the abdominal aorta, or aneurysm, which may rupture and be fatal. Many people do not know they have this condition.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD): uses the Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) to check for blockages, narrowing, and plaque buildup in the leg arteries. Abnormal results may indicate a high risk for coronary artery and peripheral arterial disease.

Physician referral is not required for the screening. Each exam takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and costs $40. Patients may take advantage of all three screenings at the same appointment for a discounted price of $100. Payment is required at the time of the screening.

Inspiring Health Vascular Screenings will be performed by a registered vascular technologist; results will be interpreted by board-certified radiologists. All screening results will be mailed to the patient. Patients who have abnormal screening results will be encouraged to meet with their personal physician for follow-up.

To schedule an appointment for one of the upcoming Inspiring Health Vascular Screenings, please call (605) 696-8888.

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at