The Lipid Center of Virginia

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. I can’t tolerate statin drugs.  Can you help?  This is a common problem among patients referred to TLC. About 1 in 5 people get some form of muscle symptoms when they take statins and while these are usually not serious in regards to health, they are the number 1 reason why people stop taking their medication.  We have extensive experience dealing with this problem.  Based on your personalized test results, we can usually come up with an alternative treatment regimen to help assist you in reaching your goal.
  2. What are PCSK9 inhibitors?  PCSK9 inhibitors are a group of injectable medications that are very powerful at reducing the amount of LDL particles in your blood.  Depending on the dosage, they can be self-injected either every 2 weeks or once a month.  Generally, these medications are indicated for people with atherosclerotic vascular disease or familial hypercholesterolemia who are not at cholesterol goals despite being treated with maximally tolerated statin doses (including statin intolerant patients).  Dr. Chaconas has extensive experience in the use of these medications.  See the Patient Education section on "How Cholesterol Medications Work" for a more in-depth discussion.
  3. How does the CIMT exam compare to Carotid Doppler testing (performed at hospitals and through traveling ultrasound companies)?  The CIMT exam is the only one that measures the thickness of your lining and provides a "vascular age."  This information is used to predict your future risk of heart attacks and strokes.  CIMT also screens for blockages.  The other ultrasound tests are done strictly to look for significant blockages.
  4. Does insurance cover the costs of the diagnostic tests and consultation?  Unfortunately, we do not participate in any insurance product.  In view of this we are committed to keeping our prices reasonable.  The cost for a new patient consultation is $300.  The cost of a follow-up visit is $150.  CIMT exam is $150.  The blood tests we offer are very specialized and many of them are not covered by insurance.  However, your labs will be billed to your insurance company and while everyone's circumstance is different, most patients are able to have labs done at minimal out-of-pocket cost. We would be happy to discuss this with you prior to your appointment. The CACS exam, if needed, is not covered by insurance but is offered at very affordable price at a regional facility.