Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is a bulge or swelling of the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from the heart down through the chest and tummy. The disease often causes few or no obvious symptoms, and if left, the swelling can grow larger over time and could potentially rupture, which can be fatal.

Screening for AAA is offered to men during the year they turn 65 as men aged 65 or over are most at risk of AAAs. Screening can help spot a swelling in the aorta early on when it can be treated.
Screening for AAA isn’t routinely offered to:
  • women
  • men under 65
  • people who’ve already been treated for an AAA
This is because the risk of an AAA is much smaller in these groups.
You can ask for a scan to check for an AAA if you think you might need one but haven’t been offered a screening test.
To make an appointment please call 01709 649100.  To download a self-referral form please click here.
Who’s at risk of an AAA
An AAA can form if the sides of the aorta weaken and balloon outwards. It’s not always clear why this happens, but there are things that increase the risk.
People at a higher risk of getting an AAA include:
  • men aged 65 or over – AAAs are up to six times more common in men than women, and the risk of getting one goes up as you get older
  • people who smoke – if you smoke or used to smoke, you’re up to 15 times more likely to get an AAA
  • people with high blood pressure – high blood pressure can double your risk of getting an AAA
  • people with a parent, sibling or child with an AAA – you’re about four times more likely to get an AAA if a close relative has had one
Speak to your GP if you’re worried you may be at risk of an AAA. They may suggest having a scan to check if you have one and making healthy lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of an AAA.

For more information on reducing your risks and treatment for AAA, click here.

The video below walks you through what a AAA screening appointment entails. Its only a few minutes long and may answer any questions you may have:

Below are some recent press release about the service, to read more click below:

Hospital screening team offer patients a choice of venues for their annual diabetic eye appointments
Ten minute scan potentially saves the life of local man

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