Avera Medical Minute: Planet Heart Screenings

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Mike Welch from Rock Rapids, Iowa has a nagging question. He's wondering about his heart. "Like most people, I don't always live the healthiest lifestyle I don't eat right, drink the right things all the time. It was offered and for 75 dollars, why not? Make sure I'm okay," said Welch.

planet heart CAT scan and EKG

The planet heart screening starts with a blood draw. Most patients say the poke of the needle is the only uncomfortable part of the entire screening.

Avera Nurse Amy Menage leads him through the process. "So the blood we drew this morning, will include cholesterol, HDL, and your ratio which we'll talk about a little later and your fasting blood glucose," said Menage.

An ultrasound is next followed by ABI test, which measures blood flow throughout the body.

Obtaining all of Mike's risk factors includes a CAT scan, which shows the coronary arteries of Mike's heart. An EKG is also conducted during the CAT scan. The results are all put together, with results given to Mike during a consultation.

With the addition of planet heart screenings in Rock Rapids, there is an elevated level of care, close to home. "We actually just opened our doors this spring on May first, and we got the planet heart screening going on August first, so we're fairly new and really excited to bring it to Rock Rapids," said Menage.

Planet heart tests will reveal risk factors. You can't change genetics but can change other things, such as diet, exercise, and possibly medications to lower your risk of a heart attack. The results also establish a baseline, as a comparison for other tests in the future.