Lake Washington Vascular

Give us a call: 425.453.1772

Screening Exam for Vascular Disease

Why should I consider having a vascular screening test?

Vascular (arterial) disease is a leading cause of death and disability. Often, vascular disease may go undetected until it causes symptoms (such as a stroke) or death. Early detection of many vascular problems may prevent deaths and disability by providing timely medical or surgical treatment.

Who should have a vascular screening?

Risk factors for vascular disease include a history of smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes. Individuals with any of these risk factors have the most to gain from screening. Individuals with a significant family history of vascular disease (such as strokes, heart attacks, or aneurysms) may also wish to consider screening as it can detect early stages of disease.

How are the tests performed?

The testing is performed using our state of the art ultrasound machines. The testing is painless, using ultrasound jelly on the skin and a handheld probe. Testing is performed by highly specialized vascular technologists who have completed four years of training in vascular ultrasound. You will receive your results immediately, but your exam will also be reviewed by one of our vascular surgeons at a later time. Your evaluation should take about thirty minutes.

What tests are performed with a vascular screening?

Vascular screening at Lake Washington Vascular includes four important tests:

1. Carotid artery disease screening:

The carotid arteries provide blood to the brain. Blockages in these arteries are a common cause of strokes.

2. Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening:

AAAs are enlarged blood vessels that are usually silent until rupture. AAAs are a leading cause of death, particularly in men over age 60.

3. Kidney artery narrowing:

Kidney artery narrowing can cause high blood pressure or kidney failure.

4. Leg artery narrowing:

Narrowing in leg arteries can cause pain with walking, or make wounds on the legs heal slowly. Leg artery narrowing is also a strong indicator of arterial problems in other areas, such as the heart.

Will my insurance pay for the test?

In general, insurance carriers and Medicare currently do not reimburse for preventative screening studies. You will be responsible for the screening fee.

Do I need a physician referral?

No. Since vascular screening tests are not covered by insurance, anyone can “self-refer” for testing.

What do I do if the test finds an abnormality?

We encourage you to share the results of the test with your primary care physician. At your request, we can mail the results of your testing to your physician; however, you are responsible for ensuring that they follow up with you. Usually, an abnormal screening test should be followed up with a dedicated in depth vascular test to further evaluate the area of abnormality. This can be ordered by your physician, and in many cases, would be covered by insurance.

Where and when can I have a screening examination?

Lake Washington Vascular Laboratory has three convenient locations: in Bellevue at the Overlake Medical Tower, in Kirkland at the Evergreen Surgery & Physicians Center, and in Issaquah at the Highmark Medical Center. Appointments are available at all three locations five days a week. Some Saturday appointments are available in Bellevue.

Give us a call: 425.453.1772

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