Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Scan (AAA)

An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in a section of the aorta , the body’s main artery. The aorta carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The wall of the aorta is normally very elastic. It can stretch and then shrink back as needed to adapt to blood flow. But some medical problems, such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), weaken the artery walls. These problems, along with the wear and tear that naturally occurs with ageing, can result in a weak aortic wall that bulges outward.

Aneurysms can form in any section of the aorta, but they are most common in the belly area which is called an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).

Most aortic aneurysms don’t cause symptoms. Some people who do have symptoms complain of belly, chest, or back pain and discomfort. In the worst case, an aneurysm can burst, or rupture. This causes severe pain and bleeding and is often fatal.

Once an aneurysm is identified the procedure can be repeated regularly so as to monitor any increase in its size thus giving ample warning should it reach a size where an operation might be needed. When the aneurysm is tender or when the diameter is 5.5 cm or more, the risk of rupture is high and intervention is likely.

In normal men over the age of 60-65, screening with ultrasound is a well proven, effective method of preventing death from AAA.

The sooner such a condition can be identified and managed, the better the chance of avoiding the complication of sudden rupture.

AAA Scan – £150

For more information please call our Clinical Manager Dawn Bond on 0207 323 9477 or email dawnbond@spitfireuk.net

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