Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening
The abdominal aorta carries blood to the abdominal and pelvic organs and legs. Over time, aortic walls can weaken and form a balloon-like aneurysm. Early detection of an aneurysm can lead to treatment that can reduce the risk of rupture.
AAA Screening measures the largest diameter of the abdominal aorta and looks for any abnormal bulging or widening.
What You Need To Know
Candidates for AAA Screening include men and women age 45 and older with one or more of the following risk factors:
- Family history of arterial disease (stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm or heart disease)
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Alcohol consumption
- The exam is performed with ultrasound equipment using high-frequency sound waves. There is no radiation involved.
- No referral is needed.
- The screening is not usually covered by insurance.
- Call your local center for more information.
What To Expect
- We’ll call you prior to your appointment to discuss specific preparation instructions; medications you are taking, potential risks and past imaging exams. If instructed, please bring previous studies to the appointment, including ultrasound, mammography or MRI.
- Be sure to notify a member of our staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you could be pregnant.
- Please arrive 15 minutes early to verify your registration.
- During the exam, you will be positioned on a cushioned table.
- Gel will be applied to your skin. The gel acts as a conductor.
- A transducer, a hand-held device that sends and receives ultrasound signals, will be moved over your abdominal aorta..
- Images will be instantly captured on a monitor and will be sent to a radiologist for review.
- Once your exam is complete, you do not need to check out with the front desk when you leave.
- After the exam, your images will be sent electronically to one of our radiologists. This radiologist will review the information. We will ask for your doctor’s name in order to send a copy of the results in the event that follow-up care is needed. A report will be sent to your provider, typically within one to two business days.
- You should follow up with your referring provider to discuss your results.