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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Check Up 13: Trivascular screenings can sound the alarm for heart, circulatory health

The Check-Up 13 emphasis today is a look at your vascular health.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The Check-Up 13 emphasis today is a look at your vascular health.

Blood travels through your body through a complex and intricate highway of arteries and veins.

This circulation to and from your heart can be impacted by a variety of irregularities. Strained or stopped blood flow can lead to stroke, death or the loss of a limb.

Larry Lykins of Connorsville had no indication he had significant blockage in his carotid artery. He was 69, fit and symptom-free. But a friend encouraged him to have his vascular system checked with a tri-vascular screening.

The 15-minute test, which is similar to an ultrasound, detected a blockage greater than 90 percent in Lykin's left carotid artery.

"I never had any symptoms whatsoever so it was kind of a surprise," Lykins said.

He had surgery to remove the blockage and his surgeon, Dr. Danielle Campbell at Ascension St. Vincent, said his prognosis is promising.

"With that level of disease on the left side, he probably at some point in his life would have had a stroke," Dr. Campbell said.

But his risk was reduced once the plaque was surgically removed.

Dr. Campbell said it's common for patients to have a significant vascular issue yet no indication there is a problem.

Now the plans Lykins and his wife had can happen without added stress.

"We're going to Alaska in August for our 50th anniversary and a stroke would have just knocked that out," he said.

The trivascular screening can help sound the alarm in time for a fix or lifestyle change. The screening also looks for aortic aneurysms in your abdomen as well as signs of peripheral arterial disease in your legs.

You can register for this screening for $79 at Ascension St. Vincent. To qualify you must be at least 55 years old and have at least two of the following risk factors:

Vascular Disease Risk Factors

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking (current or past)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of arterial disease, stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm or peripheral artery disease

You must register before midnight Feb. 13. To register, call the hotline at 1-866-824-3251. To learn more, click here.