We are open for all your health care needs. Visitor restrictions still apply.

Learn More


April 20, 2017

10 Minutes and 3 Painless Screenings Could Save Your Life

Did you know that a heart attack occurs every 30 seconds in the U.S.?

Or that 10 million people have a condition called “peripheral artery disease,” and millions of them have no idea that they have it?

Vascular health is a major issue in San Antonio and throughout Texas, which is why Southwest General Hospital is proud to offer AngioScreen®, a unique mobile unit that travels the city, offering three easy, low-cost screenings to businesses, communities, organizations and individuals.

To schedule an AngioScreen, call 877-215-WELL (9355).

These Screenings Are Not Part of a Routine Doctor’s Visit

Though it might seem like these potentially life-saving screenings would be a part of your annual physical, they usually are not included in the average patient’s visit.

But… getting these screenings can be so important for at-risk individuals, as the factors that put you at risk for heart attack and stroke do not always cause symptoms before they cause catastrophe.

What Could 10 Minutes Do?

  • Make for happier, healthier employees
  • Alert you to a life-threatening condition
  • Give you tools to pursue diagnosis and treatment with your doctor
  • Provide the wake-up call you need for a healthier lifestyle
  • Save your life!

What happens during your 10-minute AngioScreen?

First, our mobile unit specialists will take some basic measurements: height, weight, BMI (body mass index), pulse and heart rhythm. Then, you will undergo three brief, non-invasive, painless screenings.

#1 Stroke Risk

Stroke risk may be calculated by using an ultrasound to measure the amount of blood that flows through the carotid arteries (the main arteries in the neck that carry blood from the heart to the brain). An ultrasound – similar to what providers use to see a baby in the womb – bounces sound waves between the body and device to create a moving image. This screening can determine your Peak Systolic Velocity (PSV), which may indicate any plaque build-up in the lining of the arterial walls. Plaque build-up decreases the amount of blood that reaches the brain. Stroke could occur if not enough blood gets to the brain or if plaque breaks loose and travels through the arteries to the brain.

#2 Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Risk

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurs when the aorta (the main artery carrying blood away from the heart) balloons and becomes enlarged. When this happens, there is always a risk that the bulge may rupture. Many people who have an AAA have no idea that they are living with this condition, as it often causes no symptoms. AAAs are screened for via ultrasound (similar to the stroke screening).

#3 Peripheral Arterial Disease Risk

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which the arteries in the legs become blocked with plaque. This can cause reduced blood flow, poor circulation, dry and flaky skin on the legs, ulcers and other symptoms. Oftentimes, the symptoms of PAD are unfairly written off as “getting older.” However, PAD is not just about your comfort and appearance. It can be a very serious medical issue, sometimes resulting in limb amputation, stroke and other life-threatening consequences. Screening for PAD is critical for many populations.

During your AngioScreen, you will undergo an ABI (Ankle Brachial Index) screening. This is a very simple screening in which the blood pressure in your ankles is compared to the blood pressure in your arms. Your ABI screening results may show that you are not receiving adequate blood flow in the legs, which could be a symptom of PAD – even if you are not experiencing any other known symptoms.

What Happens Next?

After your 10-minute screening session, you will receive color printouts of your results, along with a DVD that includes your carotid ultrasound image and vital measurements. Any red numbers in your results printout indicate abnormal values. You can then take your results to your primary care provider to discuss next steps.

Have Our Mobile Unit Visit You!

The AngioScreen mobile unit is available to serve you and your company or organization anywhere in the greater San Antonio area. To learn more about reserving this mobile unit, call 877-215-WELL (9355).

The information in this blog is intended for general guidance only and is not medical advice. The information is not intended as a recommendation for specific situations. As always, the participant should consult a qualified physician for specific advice.