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Heart check

Posted by john h on 10/05/04 at 11:57 (161005)

We have a hospital in Little Rock (Arkansas Heart Hospital) that only treats heart problems. A year ago they advertised a scan of the heart and arteries to look for unknown heart problems. It could detect calcium buildup in the heart and some cases the vascular system. It only takes 10 minutes for the scan and the radiologist will give you immediate results. Cost is a supprising $150. Machine looks like a CAT scanner but could be something else. No dyes or any injections just a scan. A close friend had a scan several months ago and they detected an anynuersum in his heart. He had open heart surgery in two days and now is well and doing great. His Doctor said it was not a case of if this would rupture but when and this clearly saved his life. He had no symptoms. No referral is needed you just call and schedule your appointment. It picks up things that will not show on a stress test where they are actually looking at your heart on a monitor as you walk/run. Seems like a good buy at $150.

Re: Heart check

Elyse B on 10/05/04 at 14:25 (161011)

but then again.... they say that these scans can cause unnecessary worry and increase medical bills. I myself would actually like to have one and am thinking seriously about it. But it ain't $150 in NYC!!!

Re: Heart check

john h on 10/06/04 at 09:49 (161044)

Elyse I agree with you that it might cause worry if they find something howver if they find something and correct it you may save your life. It also might lead to a change in life style. They assess what they find and grade your probablity of heart problems. It is sort of like having a colonoscopy in that do you really want to know you may have polups? Apparently most people do not and as a result perhaps 50% more people die from colon cancer than is necessary. I know this for sure it saved my friends life. I asked a nurse at the hospital had they been finding many problems and she said they have had a number of people that problems they discovered were so serious they never even left the hospital and ended up with major heart surgery. It is in our nature not to want to hear bad news. I think my heart is in good shape but you never know. Heart disease is the major killer of women and it is an often silent killer. I will schedule my scan in the next two weeks as I blow $150 on a big dinner out sometimes. I suspect that is what a cheeseburger cost in NYC. I think these scans are available nationwide and they only take 7 minutes so it could be the best $150 you have spent in some time. Call one of your Heart Hospitals and inquire. I would interested to know. Make sure you call a Heart Hospital who treat nothing else as they are the only ones in our state that offer this service

Re: Heart check

john h on 10/06/04 at 09:56 (161045)

Early this year I had my first ever stress test. I was concerned about my PF but when I got going on that treadmill I had no problem at all and could easily have gone another 15-20 minutes when the Doctor said he had seen enough. Now days they actually look live at your beating heart during the test and you can see the valves opening and closing and the heart beating. Amazing. He said my heart was functioning great. The attending nurse had PF so she was wondering how my feet were doing. These things are some kind of expensive. I am thinking the charges were well in excess of $2000. They are no guarantee you want have a heart attack but they can pick up a lot of heart disease and artery blockage problems. Medicare will pick up the charges on this test.

Re: Heart check

Elyse B on 10/06/04 at 11:34 (161051)

Well John, I will call one the heart hospitals but there is no way it is $150, I believe it is more in the range of $3K. I had a colonoscoopy last week and go every 2 years per my gastro. John in July I was diagnosed with Central Retinal Vein Occlusion and have been to the doctor almost every single day since July 1. 5 opthalmologists, 2 hematoglists and on and one. I have had a ton of systemic blood tests and frankly the more you are in the 'system' the more they find until I put a stop to it. I had one blood test that had a 'funky' result and they were going to put me on coumadin and I took it over and now I am on a baby aspirin. Frankly I think part of the scans are a rip off.

Re: Heart check

Elyse B on 10/06/04 at 11:35 (161052)

I was going to have a transophegeal echkocardiogram (sp?) which is better than a stress test because it looks at the arteries through a scope but that is on hold until I go back to hematologist in 2 months and get my blood re-tested.

Re: Heart check

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/09/04 at 10:03 (161201)

Elyse:

They cost about $350 in the Seattle area for the heart scan and about $500 to $700 for the whole body scan.

I had the heart scan done by a radiologist friend who has obtained new equipment and used me as a guinea pig. My results were 'fair' but not good. The results motivated me to channge my diet and have lost 30 lb. since Feb. when I had it done. Yes, it caused me worry because of my family history but felt that it was more important to know. Once you know, drugs are not the only answer --- I really favor the 'natural' approach before drugs saving drugs as the 'last resort.' I changed my diet successfully, take niacin and red yeast rice, vitaminE, Omega-3, and tocotrienols. I should exercise more but have fallen short in that area. My philosophy is 'go find out and take action as needed' but remember that 'worry' is better channeled into a motivation device as opposed to something that causes unnecessary stress.
Regards,
Ed