(AAA)Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
Aneurysms are a health risk because they can burst or rupture. A ruptured aneurysm can cause severe internal bleeding, which can lead to shock or even death. What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm? An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA), is a condition in which the lining of the blood vessel called the aorta is enlarged within the abdomen. Abdominal aortic aneurysms pose a threat because they are usually silent until a medical emergency occurs. Many people with an abdominal aortic aneurysm do not experience symptoms, but may experience these common warning signs: • Intense back or abdominal pain • Rapid pulse • Nausea and Vomiting • Excessive sweating What Causes an AAA? The exact reason why an aneurysm forms in the aorta in most cases in not clear. Aneurysms can affect people of any age and both sexes. However, they are most common in men, people with high blood pressure (hypertension) and those over the age of 65. Your genetic make-up plays a part as you have a much higher chance of developing an AAA if one of your immediate relatives (parent, brother or sister) has or had one. Risk Factors Certain other “risk factors” in-crease the chance of getting an aneurysm. These include: • Smoking • High Blood Pressure • High Cholestero • Emphysema • Obesity How to prepare for an AAA Screening The screening is a quick and painless procedure that requires no radiation. • Wear comfortable clothes • NPO (nothing by mouth) after midnight • If you take medication, take as prescribed What to Expect The AAA screening requires you to lay on your back while the technologist uses ultrasound to take images and measurements of your aorta. The technologist will apply a warm gel to the transducer and move it along your abdomen. You may be asked to hold your breath for a brief moment. The radiologist will review the images and a final report will be sent to your physician in 24-48 hours. Medicare Coverage If you are covered under Medicare and meet the guidelines for an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening talk to your doctor today about scheduling you for this potential lifesaving test! Talk to your doctor today about scheduling your AAA Screening.