For scheduling please call:
Fax: (713) 776-3087
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Should I have a “screening” cardiovascular exam?
- Yes, if you are over the age of 50, have a positive family history, or have 1 or more risk factors.
- No, if your family history is negative, you have no history of cardiovascular disease, and your under the age of 50.
What are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
- Family history of heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol
- High “bad” (LDL) cholesterol / Low “good (HDL) cholesterol
- Obesity (more than 25% overweight)
- Over the age of 40
- High cholesterol / high triglycerides
- Smoker or ex-smoker
- Steroid use
- High fat diet
Is a “screening” exam as good as a regular complete exam?
- No. However, the screening exam is excellent for determining your “risk” and determining the presence or absence of known cardiovascular disease. The screening exams are less expensive and do not pose a known procedural risk.
Do I have to have a physician’s order for cardiovascular diagnostic exams?
- For screens, no.
- For complete exams, yes.
Screening echovascular exams are offered by different companies and at different prices. Are all of these exams equal?
- No. Some are very good and follow national standards and have been around for some time. Others are of inferior quality and conform to a relatively lax set of regulations. Our labs are accredited and thus regulated to a set of nationally accepted standards.
Are their risks with cardiovascular diagnostic exams?
- No. For ultrasound and doppler, there are no documented risks over a 20+ year experience. For CT calcium score, none. For a regular CT scan, nuclear cardiology, and other similar exams there are some known risks which are reviewed before testing.
How long will my screening exams take?
- Generally speaking 20-40 minutes.
Is there anything special I need to do before an echovascular ultrasound/doppler exam?
- No. Abdominal aorta exams, we will ask you to not eat or drink for a period of time before testing.
Are screening exams covered by private insurance or Medicare/Medicaid?
- Yes/No. There is not coverage for screening exams by Medicare/Medicaid except for certain exceptions and with several restrictions. Insurance companies and employers are improving their preventative health measures, but again there is no uniform coverage. However, screening diagnostic exams are considerably less expensive that routine standard exams.
I have known cardiovascular disease history or I have diabetes, are screening exams appropriate?
- Check with your primary care physician or cardiologist before making this decision. You may also contact our office for information. We can also assist with you with determining your medical coverage under your current insurance or through Medicare/Medicaid.