New London Hospital Offers Heart Scans

January 27, 2012

Non-Invasive Test Helps Doctors Diagnose Heart Disease

In recognition of February’s Heart Month, New London Family Medical Center is offering a $50 test that has potential to save lives.

The hospital is offering heart scans, also known as coronary calcium scans, which help doctors diagnose heart disease before a patient shows any symptoms. Using the hospital’s 64-slice CT scanner, the scan can identify the buildup of cholesterol in the heart’s arteries that can lead to heart disease or a heart attack.

The scan is recommended for men, 35 and older, and women, 40 or older, who have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Family history of heart disease
  • Smoker
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight
  • Sedentary or high risk lifestyle

“It’s a painless, non-invasive test that can help identify calcified plaque in your arteries,” said Kim Lees, imaging supervisor at NLFMC. “The total appointment takes only about 15 minutes, with the scan only taking a few minutes. We have gift certificates, so you can purchase a scan as a gift for a loved one.”

Call (920) 531-2000 to make an appointment or for more information.

No special preparation is necessary for the test, Lees added. Patients are asked to remove all metal objects from their chest area. Patients simply lie still on the scanner table as it advances through the donut-shaped scanner. The scan is fast and painless, as the scanner passes over the body three times, when patients hold their breath each time for 10 seconds or less.

The results of the scan are sent to the patient’s doctor who will share and interpret the findings with the patient, Lees said. The amount of calcified plaque present in a patient’s arteries is related to heart-attack risk; a higher calcium score means a higher risk of heart attack. A score of zero, meanwhile, suggests that there is no calcification within the coronary arteries, and that the chance of having a heart attack over the next five years is very low.

New London Family Medical Center is a 25-bed, critical access hospital serving New London and nearby communities in Outagamie and Waupaca counties. The hospital, which has been in operation since 1930 and is part of ThedaCare, provides inpatient and outpatient surgery; a 24-hour emergency department; physical, occupational and speech therapies; diagnostic services including laboratory and imaging; pain management; transitional care; and a ThedaCare At Home retail store. ThedaCare Physicians-New London shares the campus of New London Family Medical Center.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

For more information, media may contact Megan Wilcox (megan.wilcox@thedacare.org), APR, corporate and public relations specialist for ThedaCare, at (920) 830-5847.