Vascular Services

Swedish Covenant Hospital's Vascular Services focus on problems with arteries (large blood vessels) outside of the heart. After your heart, the main arteries of the body where disease occurs are in your abdomen, your neck and your legs. Three important medical terms in this section are Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, or AAA; Carotid Artery Disease, or CAD; and Peripheral Vascular Disease, or PVD.

Swedish Covenant Hospital has earned certification by the Health Care Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) as a Level I Primary Stroke Center for meeting more than 40 standards related to stroke diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, patient and community education and follow up. We have additionally been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for excellence in stroke care.

Risk Factors
Certain factors increase your risk of having a vascular problem. Some things can't be controlled, such as older age or having a family history of artery problems. But you can control other vascular disease risk factors, such as:

• Smoking
• High blood pressure
• Diabetes
• High cholesterol
• Lack of exercise
• Obesity

Quitting smoking, lowering your blood pressure or cholesterol levels, losing weight and exercising, and managing diabetes – these are all excellent healthy lifestyle choices that can reduce your risk of vascular disease.

Treating Vascular Problems 
If your doctor finds a vascular problem during a screening or routine examination, you can talk together about treatment options and decide on a plan that's right for you. Your plan may include:

• Exercise. Regular exercise can lower high blood pressure and improve circulation. It can help with weight loss and can improve your sense of well-being.
• Medication. Medications, such as blood thinners, may be used to treat certain artery problems. Medications can also control risk factors, such as high blood pressure.
• Surgical procedures. When an artery problem is a serious threat to your health, a surgical procedure may be needed. This can help restore healthy blood flow.

According to the American Vascular Association, an estimated 20-30 million Americans are at risk for vascular disease. In fact, vascular disease outside the heart causes almost as much death and disability as heart disease, and more than any cancer.

So what can you do to prevent future health problems from vascular disease? In most cases, with early detection, vascular disease can be treated effectively. 

Medicare now offers a free, one-time, ultrasound screening benefit to check for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). For more information, visit

Several simply screening tests, which are non-invasive and painless, are offered at Swedish Covenant Hospital:

• Carotid (Neck) Ultrasound. In this painless test, a technician holds a small ultrasound device to the outside of your neck. The device emits high-frequency sound waves that bounce off of blood cells and blood vessels to show blood flow and problems with the vessels' structure. This test can show your physician how open your carotid arteries are and how quickly blood flows through them.
• Abdominal Ultrasound. In this painless test, a technician holds a small ultrasound device to your abdomen and scans for any abnormalities, including an enlarged aorta.
• Ankle-Brachial Index (for Legs and Arms). For the ABI, your physician measures your blood pressure in your ankle and in your arm, using an ordinary blood pressure cuff and an ultrasound device.

Most people don't know they are at risk for vascular disease. In fact, you might not even recognize you have symptoms until something serious happens—like a stroke, aneurysm or blockage.

And yet most of these vascular problems can be prevented if they are detected and treated. Through a simple, painless screening, you and your doctor can determine your level of risk for vascular disease, and what you can do to prevent future vascular problems.

For a limited time, take advantage of Swedish Covenant Hospital's Vital Screening Package for $165. It's a unique package of three painless, non-invasive vascular screening tests; and you'll be out in under an hour.

Click here to meet Swedish Covenant Medical Group's Vascular Team or call 773-878-6888 to schedule your vascular services.

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