Would you like to get a carotid artery screening, but don’t want to pay $150 or more?
Tucson Medical Center (TMC) offers various vascular screenings for $25, but this month (SEPTEMBER), they will do the tests for $10 each. I’m only 63, but I’m going to get the three tests TMC is promoting this month.
- Carotid artery duplex evaluation: to determine the presence of significant carotid artery (blood flow to the brain) blockage.
- Peripheral artery disease screening, or PAD: to determine the presence of significant arterial blockage in the legs
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening to determine the presence of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (weakening of the wall of the aorta).
The importance of carotid artery screening
I’m particularly interested in the carotid artery screening because my mother and my grandmother both had blocked carotids. My grandmother had one of the first operations to clean out carotid arteries back in the 1960’s. My mother never got tested for blockage in her carotid arteries and she ended up having a stroke.
I’ve told my primary care doctor about my family history, but she has never suggested I get a carotid artery screening. If she doesn’t recommend it, my insurance won’t pay for the test. I had no idea I could get the screening without insurance for $25 (or $10 this month).
Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
A few years ago, I helped one of my clients find a new primary care doctor. My client was 80 years old. His new doctor ordered an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening and it turned out he had an aneurysm that could have killed him. He was admitted to the hospital right away to fix the aneurysm.
Artery blockage is something that can sneak up on you. You don’t know you have it until you have some terrible event – like a stroke, or heart attack, or internal bleeding.