Consultant radiologist opinion
Available for self-pay or insured
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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
Length of AAA
Size of AAA
Location of AAA
Inflammation and signs of inflammation
Signs of cancer
1. What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm ultrasound scan?
2. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA): Symptoms and when to see a doctor
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is usually picked up during tests conducted for other health reasons, this is because usually there are no early or obvious symptoms. It can be dangerous if it isn’t spotted early on as it can get bigger over time and could burst (rupture) which can cause life-threatening bleeding. Some
people may experience the following symptoms:
– A pulsing sensation like a heartbeat in the tummy
– A persistent abdominal pain (tummy ache)
– A persistent lower back pain
A burst AAA (rupture) can cause:
– Severe and sudden pain in the tummy or lower back
– A fast heartbeat
– Shortness of breath
– Sweaty, pale and clammy skin
Call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone else develops symptoms of a burst AAA. Who’s at a higher risk of getting an AAA?
If the sides of the aorta weaken and balloon outwards, an AAA can occur. The reason for this happening is not always clear, but there are factors which increase the risk.
People at an increased risk of getting an AAA include:
– All men aged 66 or over
– Women aged 70 or over with one or more of the following risk factors:
– high blood pressure
– chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
– high blood cholesterol
– a family history of AAA
– cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease or a history of stroke
– smoke or previously smoked
– Men or women with a parent, child, or sibling who has an AAA
– Patients with high blood pressure
– Smokers and ex-smokers
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment to see your doctor if you fall in the high risk category or experience the symptoms listed above. Please remember that usually there are no early or obvious symptoms. It can be dangerous
if it isn’t spotted early on as it can get bigger over time and could burst (rupture) which can cause life- threatening bleeding. Therefore, if you fall in the high risk category you should see your doctor who may request an ultrasound scan and healthy lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of an AAA. Please note, in England AAA screening is routinely offered by the NHS to men once they turn 65.as they are most at risk
of developing an AAA. Men under the age of 65 and women without the high risk factors are typically less likely to develop an
AAA, but if you’re concerned and haven’t been offered a scan, you can request one via your GP or book
an appointment with us. An ultrasound scan of your tummy area can confirm if you have one.
3. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) ultrasound: What happens at my appointment?
The Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) ultrasound scan is a pain free examination. Your appointment will
take a maximum of 30 minutes. Here is what happens at your appointment:
1. Once you arrive, you’ll be asked asked to change in to a medical gown (if required) and remove any clothing from your tummy area as well as jewellery, accessories and other objects which may interfere with the ultrasound scan.
2. You’ll be required to lie flat on your back on an examination table. Your doctor will then apply a water based gel to your tummy area. The gel works alongside a handheld scanning device to create images by helping sound waves pass through the tummy more efficiently.
3. To begin the examination, a handheld scanning device (the ultrasound transducer head which sends high frequency sound waves into the body and picks up responding signals), will be pressed against your tummy, moving back and forth whilst applying mild to medium pressure in order to get clear images which will be visible in real-time on a display screen for your doctor. The procedure does not cause any discomfort.
4. Once your doctor is satisfied with the quantity and quality of images, the gel will be wiped off your tummy area, you can then get dressed.
5. Your doctor will discuss the results of the scan with you and will be able to tell you if you have an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).
A specialist consultant radiologist will review and assess your scan results and provide a comprehensive medical report for you and your doctor. Following the examination the images are processed and reviewed by a Consultant Radiologist who will provide your doctor with a report. We endeavour to give both you and your GP access to your results on the same day of your scan. You can expect the scan to last between 20-30 minutes. Please give yourself plenty of time for your appointment.
As the scan is non-invasive and non-surgical there is no aftercare or recovery requirements so you can go home immediately after your appointment.
4. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) ultrasound: Treatment plans
If an AAA is found and it is large, you should perform more frequent checks or may be advised by your doctor to consider surgical treatment. Your doctor usually only recommends surgery if an AAA is at risk of bursting.