Cardiac CT scan gives Smyrna man with family history of heart disease peace of mind

Rob ArnoldRob Arnold, 46, manager of Atlanta Scuba in Marietta, was worried. At 68, his father had a triple bypass and his younger brother, age 39, has already had angioplasty. On top of that, his wife had been experiencing serious medical issues stemming from a bone marrow transplant.

“I am dead square in the middle,” says the Smyrna resident. “I’m about 40 pounds overweight. I’m not only responsible for my own business but I’m the caregiver to my wife. All I need …is to have a heart attack. My heart health is my greatest risk because of my family history. I wanted to make sure my life was in order.”

As a preventive measure, Arnold’s general practitioner scheduled him for some $700 to $800 worth of tests in his office, including a treadmill stress test. Arnold asked how he could make it easier without going on the treadmill. His doctor advised him to have a heart scan.

“I heard an Emory radio ad about getting a heart scan,” says Arnold. “I wanted the test. I didn’t want to sit around and wait. I wouldn’t have to claim insurance or fill out any forms. It …sounded very attractive to me so I proceeded to make an appointment for a scan at Emory Crawford Long Hospital’s Radiology Department.”

Arnold thought the price was reasonable at $150, but it wasn’t the price that determined whether he went for the test.

“It was the importance of having the procedure done,” explains Arnold. “It is saving people’s lives. Everybody was spectacular, including the technicians. Everyone bent over backwards. I didn’t have to do anything. I was in and out in less than 45 minutes.

“So many people are in between insurance and do not have adequate coverage,” Arnold points out. “I felt threatened because of my family history. I’ve got a cardiologist, but with this procedure it was much easier to see what’s inside.

“The lowest reading on the scale is 0-5,” says Arnold, “and my results were 0 and showed no trace of coronary artery calcium. The opportunity to have my heart scanned has absolutely given me positive feelings and peace of mind in a heart-troubled family. I’ve already been riddled with health issues from other family members. This CT scan allowed me to put my worries aside.”

In addition to assessing for coronary artery calcium, this comprehensive set of tests also looks at blood lipids and blood pressure as cardiovascular risk factors and fasting blood glucose for diabetes. The screenings are available on an appointment-only basis at Emory’s Midtown and Druid Hills campuses and at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.

“I want other people to realize this is a very worthwhile thing,” Arnold says. “I don’t care how much insurance you have, what your medical background is or if you have 10 cardiologists. This machine will tell you if you have any buildup of calcium.”

To schedule an appointment please call 404-778-SCAN or fill out our online appointment request form.