Southtowns Radiology, one of Western New York’s leading imaging centers, is pleased to announce that… Read More
CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring (also known as Heart Scan) is available at this location:
At Southtowns Radiology, we are early detection champions for heart disease.
Because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US for both men and women, it is essential that heart health remain a top priority for those who are at risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), which can cause a heart attack if not treated.
A Low-Dose CT Cardiac Calcium Score is a screening test that scans the heart to show the location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries. These are the arteries that supply oxygen to your heart. Plaque is made up of calcium, cholesterol, fats and other substances in the blood. When there is buildup of plaque over time, it can restrict the blood flow carrying oxygen to your heart. It can also break off and trigger a blood clot that can lead to a heart attack.
Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) is a special type of imaging that takes very detailed, 3-D pictures of your heart and coronary arteries. While it uses 75% less radiation than a traditional CT scan, it also shows significantly more detail than a standard X-Ray. This test can also be known as a Heart Scan, a Coronary Calcium Scan, or a Calcium Score. This non-invasive exam uses images from computed tomography (CT) to calculate your risk of coronary artery disease.
Southtowns Radiology offers low-dose CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring, or heart scans, at our Orchard Park office. Call 716-649-9000 to schedule your appointment. Most appointments take less than a half hour, and results are usually sent to the ordering provider within 48 hours (with the exception of Saturdays).
We are proud to offer advanced technology on our 64-slice scanner for a reduction in radiation levels of up to 50%. This state-of-the-art imaging adds greater peace of mind for patients concerned about radiation exposure while actually improving image quality.
There are important risk factors to consider when thinking about heart disease.
- Family history of heart attacks
- Cigarette smoking
- High cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- Overweight or obese
- Physical inactivity
It’s a good idea to talk with your provider about your heart health.
We encourage you to start a conversation with your primary healthcare provider about your family history of heart disease, especially if there have been heart attacks at a young age.
Remember – because you know your family history, your lifestyle and your body like no one else, you are your own best healthcare advocate. If you have multiple risk factors to consider, it’s a good idea to ask if a heart scan is a good option for you – do not assume your provider will come to you with this information.
When deciding where you will go for Low-Dose CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring, it’s important that you ask:
- Is this imaging center accredited in CT by the American College of Radiology?
- Will my doctor or primary care provider have my results within 48 hours?
- Is the radiology center close to work or home – will I be able to schedule a time that fits into my daily schedule?
Southtowns Radiology is accredited in computed tomography by the ACR. Our location in Orchard Park where Low Dose CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring is offered is easily accessible to most communities south of Buffalo and is 20 minutes or less away from West Seneca, East Aurora, Angola, Blasdell, Eden, Lakeview, Derby, Elma, North Collins, Silver Creek, Boston and Springville.
We can often accommodate same-day appointments for heart scans, and appointments typically take less than 30 minutes to complete.
Typical insurance coverage and out of pocket cost for Cardiac Calcium Scoring that you should consider include:
Most often, Cardiac Calcium Scoring is not covered by insurance, and is paid for out-of-pocket. At Southtowns Radiology, our standard self-pay cost for this exam is $110.
Patients are encouraged to consider, however, the cost of treating a heart attack. According to the National Business Group on Health, direct costs, including hospital visits, physicians and prescription drugs, along with indirect costs, including time away from work for recovery, could cost patients anywhere between $38,000 and $50,000 in a single year.
Before your low-dose CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring appointment, you should know:
When you arrive for Cardiac Calcium Scoring, also known as a heart scan, it’s essential that you have your script with you. If you don’t have your script, please call the provider who ordered your imaging to ensure that one can be faxed to our office for your appointment.
Low-dose CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring tests do not require any injections or dyes, nothing needs to be swallowed orally, and no fasting is necessary. You should be prepared for small heart monitors to be placed on your chest during the exam, which will last approximately 10 minutes. Male patients may need to have a small area of their chest shaved to accommodate the monitors, and female patients may need to change if they are wearing a bra with metal.
During your study, your technologist will help you lie down on a movable table to take images from different angles. The technologist will view the images of your heart and coronary arteries at the computer workstation to ensure quality images have been captured for review. A radiologist will then examine the images and will send a copy of your results to the provider who ordered your screening test. You should expect to hear results from your primary healthcare provider who ordered the exam.