Do you need to be tested for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)?
AAA IS ONE OF THE MAIN “SILENT KILLERS OF MODERN CIVILIZATION.”
NOBODY SHOULD ESCAPE ITS DETECTION IN ITS EARLY STAGES.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is usually a silent disease that gives no symptoms until a life threatening rupture occurs. Sonography is the best and most economical way to detect and to follow periodically AAA in patients with atherosclerotic abdominal aorta or small aneurysms.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a condition in which the lining of the blood vessel called the aorta is enlarged within the abdomen. Because abdominal aortic aneurysms are likely to tear if they reach 5 centimeters in diameter, monitoring is important for preventing a rupture. A ruptured AAA can cause blood loss, shock, and death.
MHS screens for AAA using ultrasound technology to measure the size of your abdominal aorta, the blood flow, the texture of the walls and we also check for plaque formation, occlusive plaque, cholesterol deposits etc. The process is painless. You lie on your back on an exam table while a technologist applies gel to your abdomen. The technologist then takes images and measurements of your aorta by moving an instrument called a transducer across your abdomen.
What you can learn
The abdominal aorta should measure less than 3 centimeters. If it measures more than 3 centimeters, an aneurysm is suspected. There are 2 types of aneurysms and our ultrasound equipment can screen for both. Abnormal screening results do not necessarily indicate the presence of an aneurysm, as they can also reveal signs of arteriosclerosis without aneurysm, or confirm the presence of a normal aorta but they do warrant a visit for evaluation.
Who should have AAA screenings
Anyone who has risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysms should have this screening. Are you at risk? Coronary artery disease by history, arterial hypertension (high blood pressure), elevated cholesterol, family history of aneurysm, family history of coronary insufficiency, strokes, diabetes, legs vascular insufficiency, arteriosclerosis, abdominal pains, abdominal murmurs, etc. Testing the abdominal aorta is important in patients older than 60 years of age. Testing of the abdominal aorta for detection of the above pathologies is essential for patients that suffer diabetes, arterial hypertension, peripheral vascular disease (leg plaque), have a history of cardiovascular diseases, are chronic smokers, and/or have a familial history of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.
How often to get screened
This is a personal decision based on your risk factors and previous screening results. We recommend discussing with your doctor. Many of our customers have an annual screening as part of their regular healthcare regimen.
It should be noted that Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) and most of these pathologies are silent and give symptoms when the disease is very advanced and it is too late.
Our offices are equipped with the most modern sonography technology to evaluate your abdominal aorta and the circulation of the legs and upper extremities. Consult with your doctor about your abdominal aorta and whether or not you may be a candidate for abdominal aortic sonography, in conjunction with testing for the lower extremity circulation (leg circulation testing by duplex).