Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening

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AAA screening is a simple ultrasound test free of charge to all men in the year they turn 65.

Screening is offered to detect dangerous swellings of the aorta – the primary blood vessel connecting the heart to the rest of the body. AAAs are most common in men over 65.

Aneurysms can happen in any blood vessel but one of the more common sites is the abdominal aorta. When an AAA occurs, the walls of the artery weaken, causing the blood vessel to expand and balloon out.

If expansion continues, the artery walls continue to weaken and may eventually rupture. A rupture is extremely dangerous. Around eight out of 10 people who suffer a ruptured AAA will die before they get to hospital or during surgery.

An AAA generally causes no symptoms. This means that you cannot tell if you have one, as you will not feel any pain or notice anything different.

With screening, an AAA can be detected before it ruptures.

The NHS offers screening in order to find aneurysms early so they can be checked regularly or treated if needed. The easiest way to find out if you have an aneurysm is to have an ultrasound scan of your abdomen.

For more information regarding AAA screening please see the websites below :

http://dudleygroup.nhs.uk/services-and-wards/vascular-service/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm-screening-aaa/

https://www.gov.uk/topic/population-screening-programmes/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm