Heart scan can be a preventative step before serious heart problems occur

Regional Health is offering an early detection scan for heart disease.

Regional Health has been offering the heart scan for over a decade, but it was only used on patients who were symptomatic and mostly ordered by the cardiologists. Now they are offering the screening test for people who want to be proactive about heart health – to assess their risk factors for coronary disease, including patients who don’t show symptoms of heart disease but meet certain criteria.

CT Scan for heart disease

CT Scan for heart disease

Dr. Rajesh Pradhan, Cardiologist with Regional Health Heart and Vascular Institute, says, “We can actually detect a presence of significant cholesterol build up and we actually grade them so that we can use that data to risk strategy and say who is at a risk of having a heart attack so that we can institute preventable therapy.”

Plaque inside the arteries of your heart can grow and restrict blood flow to the muscles of the heart. Measuring calcified plaque with a heart scan may allow your doctor to identify possible coronary artery diseases before you have signs and symptoms. Preventive therapy may include diet, exercise and medications.

Heart Disease poster

The scan is recommended for people 40 or older who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease, diabetes, obesity or a history of tobacco use. The screening consists of a 10-minute CT scan that requires no needles, prep or recovery time. It is self-pay only, with a cost of $75, not covered by insurance. But it may buy you piece of mind.

Pradham says, “You diagnose a problem before it becomes a real problem and you fix it beforehand so that you don’t end up needing a stint or bypass or something like that.”

The scan does need to be ordered by your primary doctor. But Regional hopes to one day offer the test to anyone who is interested without a referral.

CT Scan Sign

CT Scan Sign

The heart scan is reviewed by cardiologists and sent back to the primary doctor with recommendations.

To find out more, click here or contact your primary care provider to discuss if you qualify for this test.

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