Low-Cost Heart Screenings

August 14, 2014

Heart disease can lurk unnoticed – just ask Ken, a healthy, active and relatively young man.

During a routine physical, Ken mentioned his occasional heartburn and as a precaution his primary care physician suggested a visit with a cardiologist. Tests showed severe arterial blockages and Ken underwent potentially life-saving quadruple arterial bypass surgery at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance.

Because heart disease can be a silent killer, the Providence Little Company of Mary Heart and Vascular Center is offering two series of low-cost heart screenings through September to detect heart disease. The tests are offered Tuesday and Saturdays at the center, 4101 Torrance Blvd., Torrance. For an appointment, call 888-HEALING (432-5464) or click here to learn more.

The Advanced Health Heart Screening – priced at $250 and valued at $1,500 – is for those 35 and over who have risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, family history of heart disease, sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthful diet. This screening takes about two hours.

This program includes:

  • Echocardiogram, an ultrasound test that creates images of the heart’s valves and chambers to show any problems in the heart muscle or valves.
  • Stroke/Carotid Artery Screening, which detects plaques that can cause a stroke.
  • Abdominal Aortic Screening, to check for aneurysm in the abdominal aorta, the large artery that carries blood to the lower half of your body.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening - Ankle-Brachial Index, a test that measures blood flow at the ankle and checks for blockages in the legs.

For those with none of these risk factors, a Basic Healthy Heart Screening, priced at $75 – but valued at $250, is being offered and takes about one hour.

This screening includes:

  • An electrocardiogram
  • Blood pressure and heart rate checks
  • Body Mass Index check
  • Metabolic syndrome calculation
  • Framingham Score Calculation
  • Comprehensive cholesterol screening
  • Physician review of results within a week, and follow-up call from nurse to review results.

For Ken, who was treated in 2012, his cardiologist ordered a “stress echo electrocardiogram,” which uses ultrasound to measure the heart at rest and then again after exercise. His physician saw a small irregularity and recommended an angiogram, which checks the arteries.

He chose Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center for the procedure and was stunned to learn one coronary artery was completely blocked and three others blockages of 85 percent to 95 percent were found. Surgery and rehabilitation followed and today Ken is as health as he looks, enjoying a full and active life.

“I'm fortunate that I am able to have a very high quality of life. I still have to deal with the underlying disease,” he said. “But I feel I have a great team of doctors and nurses standing with me and giving me great advice and care.

“I hope my story helps people understand what a heart patient goes through and that heart disease can affect anyone no matter their age or current health status. Even seemingly healthy people may have heart disease.”

Watch Ken's full story here.