Peripheral Artery Disease(PAD) is diagnosed through a process called vascular screening also known as a cardiovascular profile. It includes several tests:
The entire process takes about one hour, requires no fasting and is completely painless. You do not need a physician's order to have a vascular screening performed.
Welcome to the Peripheral Artery Disease Screening Program. This screening is for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), carotid artery (large blood vessels in your neck) disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA, the large artery in your abdomen). This program will give you information on these areas and screen you for possible problems. The screening process is very simple. A certified vascular technologist will take blood pressures in your arms and ankles for PAD screening, perform an ultrasound of your carotid arteries (neck) and abdominal aorta (stomach area), and ask you questions about your health. You may participate in any or all of these areas.
To register for a PAD screening, you can either call us directly at 814-877-5265, or you can visit the UPMC Hamot website to fill out the questionnaire. The information on it will go straight to our staff, who will contact you to set up an appointment.
The screening will determine if you are at high, moderate, low or no apparent risk for the problems for which you are being screened. If the screening indicates that you have risk factors, you will be told to see your doctor for an evaluation. You will have the opportunity to have the results from this screening sent to your doctor. You will also receive a copy of your results on the day of your screening.
What is PAD?
Peripheral arteries are the vessels that carry blood throughout the body to the head, abdomen, arms and legs. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes referred to as peripheral vascular disease, is a narrowing of arteries due to the buildup of plaque that results in poor blood flow to any of these areas. Plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis, occurs over time and is accentuated by risk factors like smoking, lack of exercise, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Evidence of PAD in the body is a likely indicator of heart disease and can be considered a warning sign of increased risk for heart attack or stroke.
Who should be screened?
Peripheral artery disease often has no symptoms, which is why anyone over the age of 50 – or younger people with known risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking – should be screened for the disease.
When will I know my results?
During the tests, our staff of professionals provide you with immediate results and answer any questions you may have. They will explain the causes of atherosclerosis, its risk factors and how it can be prevented. After the exam, the results are sent directly to you and your family physician–if requested–for follow–up care, if necessary.
How is PAD treated?
Peripheral artery disease is typically treated with lifestyle changes, medications or a combination of both. Smoking cessation, diet and nutritional modifications, and increased exercise are controllable activities that can have a significant impact in preventing PAD. In some cases of more advanced disease, narrowed arteries may be re-opened with angioplasty or bypass surgery.
What are the costs of PAD screening?
Each screening costs $40 or $100 for all three. Insurance does not cover these screenings.
For more information, or if you have a question about the screening process, please call 814-877-5265