A vascular screening is a check-up for your arteries and veins, also called your blood vessels. These appointments can help you find out if you have vascular disease.\nNot all vascular conditions have symptoms, so it’s a good idea to make the time for a check-up to be sure that your blood vessels are healthy. Knowing if you have a health problem can help you treat it and enjoy your everyday activities with peace of mind.\nWhat Happens During a Screening?\nHealthy blood vessels are smooth, stretchy, and allow blood to flow through them easily. Vascular disease can cause weak spots in your blood vessels, or for them to become narrow or blocked.\nDuring a vascular screening, you will undergo a set of painless tests that check your blood vessels to judge if they are healthy, or if they have signs of disease. Vascular screenings are provided by specially trained technicians, also called technologists, under the direction of vascular surgeons.\nAbdominal ultrasound\nAn abdominal ultrasound checks for abdominal aortic aneurysm, a weak, bulging spot in the largest artery in your abdomen. During this test, you lie flat on your back and have images and measurements of your abdominal aorta taken through ultrasound.\nIf left untreated, an aneurysm can burst, causing life-threatening internal bleeding.\nCarotid artery ultrasound\nA carotid artery ultrasound checks the arteries in your neck, which carry blood to your brain. During this test, you lay flat on your back and have images of your carotid arteries taken through ultrasound. This test also checks how quickly your blood flows through your carotid arteries to see if they are narrowed.\nIf left untreated, blocked carotid arteries can cause a stroke.\nAnkle-brachial index (ABI)\nAn ankle-brachial index (ABI) test checks if you have signs of peripheral artery disease, or PAD. During this test, your blood pressure is measured in both of your arms and both of your ankles, then compared. If your blood pressure is lower in your ankles than in your arms, you may have PAD, or blockages in the arteries in your limbs and pelvis.\nIf left untreated, PAD can cause pain, difficulty walking, and serious damage that may lead to limb loss.\nRELATED:\u00a0What is Vascular Disease?\nWhy Do I Need a Screening?\nA screening can help you find out if you have signs of vascular disease, and if you are at risk for having it in the future. Early diagnosis and treatment can help you avoid dangerous, life-threatening problems.\nIt is a good idea to have a screening if you:\n\nAre 60 or older\nHave diabetes\nSmoke\nHave high blood pressure\nHave a family history of cardiovascular disease or aortic aneurysm\n\nTo learn more about vascular screenings or to schedule a screening, visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute online or call 412-802-3333.