Ultrasound is regularly being used to evaluate abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Abdominal aneurysm is a swelling of the aorta, the main blood vessel that brings blood for your heart to the rest of the body. The >aorta is around 2.5 in the abdominal area, it can however swell to more than 5cm.
Aneurysms are more common in men of 65+ years of age than in women and younger men and they can be fatal as large aneurysm can burst. According to NHS Choices 8 out of 10 people with aortic aneurysm or AAA die.
Its highly unlikely that small aneurysms will cause any symptoms but large aneurysm can cause the following symptoms:
Although the causes of AAA are not fully understood, risk factors include: obesity, high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol.
The Abdominal Aortic scan includes evaluation of:
No preparation is necessary for this scan but avoid eating foods that can cause significant amount of abdominal gas
Before the scan our sonographer will explain the examination procedure. During your scan you will be asked to expose your abdomen by lifting your top up. We will put some warm jelly on your skin and we will use an ultrasound probe that sends sound waves in your body to visualise the aorta.
The scan is painless and we will be able to tell you there and then if you do have an AAA. An ultrasound report will be issued to take it with you.