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Posts for tag: Vascular Screening

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
June 19, 2020
Category: General
Tags: Vascular Screening  

Vascular screenings are an effective method for determining your risk of developing certain vascular diseases, such as peripheral artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, or stroke. Detecting potential problems early on provides an opportunity to address them before they become life-threatening. At Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids MI, Dr. Ronald VanderLaan can perform a vascular screening to identify potential areas of concern and help you improve your health.

Vascular Diseases

Vascular diseases include a broad range of conditions that affect the blood vessels and interfere with the circulation of blood throughout the body. Some causes of vascular disease include plaque buildup in the arteries or a blockage of the blood vessels. Some common types of vascular diseases include:

  • Stroke
  • Varicose veins
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot)
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)

Obesity is one factor that can increase an individual’s risk of developing vascular disease. Other risk factors for developing a vascular disease include having high cholesterol or high blood pressure, being diagnosed with diabetes, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and being a smoker. Individuals with a family history of vascular disease are also at an increased risk.

Importance of Vascular Screening

The purpose of a vascular screening is to detect plaque buildup or blood vessel blockages since both places an individual at an increased risk for developing a vascular condition, such as a stroke or an aneurysm. Early detection of problems provides an opportunity to reduce your risk of developing a vascular condition down the road.

Individuals who already have a higher risk for vascular disease due to obesity, high blood pressure, or another factor should undergo a vascular screening. Even if you do not have any of the risk factors, it is still important to schedule a vascular screening at our Grand Rapids MI office if you are over age 55 or display any of the following symptoms:

  • Speech problems
  • Changes in vision
  • Numbness or weakness in the leg
  • Feeling weak or numb on only one side of the body
  • Painful cramping in the hips, thighs, or calves during activity
  • A cold sensation in the lower leg or foot not present in the other leg
  • Open wounds or sores on the leg or foot that will not heal

A vascular screening can help identify potential areas of concern that place you at an increased risk for developing certain diseases. Early detection allows for early intervention, which can help prevent the development of the vascular disease. To schedule a vascular screening with Dr. VanderLaan, call Grand Rapids Cardiology at (616) 717-5141.

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
February 19, 2020
Category: General
Tags: Vascular Screening  

Could a vascular screening help you protect your health? These screenings, offered by your cardiologist, Dr. Ronald VanderLaan of Grand Rapids Cardiology, provide important information about the condition of your blood vessels.

Why are vascular screenings important?

You are at an increased risk of experiencing a stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm, or peripheral artery disease if your blood vessels are blocked or clogged with plaque. Plaque is a collection of fat, cholesterol, and calcium that adheres to the walls of your blood vessels.

How are vascular screenings performed?

Screenings are non-invasive and completely painless. During the ultrasound portion of the testing, you'll lie down while a technician passes a handheld ultrasound transducer over the carotid arteries in your neck, the aorta in your abdomen and the veins in your leg. Vascular screenings also includes ankle and arm blood pressure measurements. A lower reading in either of the legs may be an indication that you have peripheral artery disease.

Should I receive a vascular screening?

Your Grand Rapids heart doctor may recommend a vascular screening if:

  • You smoke: Smokers are more likely to develop vascular disease than non-smokers. In fact, smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, according to the U.S. Surgeon General's report on smoking and health.
  • You have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes: Damage to blood vessels and plaque build up in blood vessels can be caused by these conditions. You may be more likely to develop a problem with your blood vessels if you've had the condition for a long time or if your condition isn't well-controlled.
  • You're overweight or sedentary: Excess weight and lack of exercise both increase your risk of stroke, aneurysm, and peripheral artery disease.
  • Your legs bother you: Swelling in your legs/ankles, leg pain, heaviness, or tightness can all be signs of peripheral artery disease and should be evaluated with a vascular screening. Screenings are also a good idea if you have varicose veins or frequent leg ulcers.
  • You are 55 or older: Your risk of developing plaque build-up or blocked vessels increases with age.

Concerned? Give us a call

Protect your health with a vascular screening. Call your cardiologist, Dr. VanderLaan of Grand Rapids Cardiology, at (616) 717-5141 to schedule your appointment.

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
April 30, 2019
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Vascular Screening  

Are you at an increased risk for vascular disease?

Vascular disease is any condition that affects the blood vessels, which circulate blood throughout the body. When there is a problem with vascularhow the blood vessels function, serious and even life-threatening complications can occur. Therefore, it’s important to know when to visit our Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan for a screening.

While there are certain risk factors such as obesity that can increase your risk for vascular disease, anyone at any time in their life can develop a vascular disease. Plaque can even begin to buildup in the arteries as early as your teen years.


Common Types of Vascular Diseases

Common vascular diseases include,

  • Stroke
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot)
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
  • Varicose veins


Signs and Symptoms of Vascular Disease

Since vascular disease can happen to anyone it’s important to be aware of common warning signs so that you can visit your Grand Rapids, MI, heart doctor right away. While different types of vascular disease present with different symptoms it’s important to schedule an appointment with us if you are experiencing any of these issues,

  • Painful cramping in your hips, calves or thighs during activity
  • Weakness or numbness in the leg
  • Coldness in your lower leg or foot compared to the other leg
  • Sores or open wounds on the foot or leg that won’t heal
  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Changes in vision
  • Speech problems (e.g. slurred speech), which is a sign of a stroke


Should you be screened for vascular diseases?

You may be at an increased risk for vascular diseases if:

  • You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes
  • You have high cholesterol
  • You are a smoker
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You are obese
  • You lead a sedentary lifestyle
  • You have a family history of vascular disease

If you have any of these risk factors then it’s time to talk to your cardiologist about getting a vascular screening test to check the health of your arteries and blood vessels. Of course, everyone can benefit from routine vascular screenings.

Remember, even those without risk factors may still develop vascular disease so it’s important that you turn to our Grand Rapid, MI, heart specialists if you are experiencing any changes to your health. Call Grand Rapids Cardiology today to learn more.