What is an AAA NHS?

What is an AAA NHS?

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from the heart down through the chest and tummy. An AAA can be dangerous if it is not spotted early on. It can get bigger over time and could burst (rupture), causing life-threatening bleeding.

What is AAA screening in medical terms?

Tests to diagnose an abdominal aortic aneurysm include: Abdominal ultrasound. This is the most common test to diagnose abdominal aortic aneurysms. An abdominal ultrasound is a painless test that uses sound waves to show how blood flows through the structures in the belly area, including the aorta.

Which medical specialist is the best referral for patients with symptomatic AAA?

We recommend referral to a vascular surgeon at time of diagnosis of any AAA. Specific features that may prompt repair include: saccular morphology, size > 5cm in females, size > 5.5cm in males, or any symptoms such as back or abdominal pain or emboli to lower extremities that could be attributed to the AAA.

What size should I get for AAA?

Surgery is commonly advised if you develop an AAA larger than 5.5cm in maximum diameter (about 5 cm in women). For these larger aneurysms the risk of rupture is usually higher than the risk of surgery.

What is NHS AAA screening?

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening is a way of checking if there’s a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from your heart down through your tummy. This bulge or swelling is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA.

Who is eligible for AAA screening?

AAA screening is offered to men during the screening year (1 April to 31 March) that they turn 65. Men aged 65 and over are most at risk of AAAs, and screening can help spot a swelling in the aorta at an early stage.

What percentage of people have aortic aneurysms?

About one person in 1000 develops an AAA between the ages of 60 and 65, and this number continues to rise with age. Screening studies show that AAAs occur in 2 to 13 percent of males and 6 percent of females over the age of 65.

What is the success rate of aortic aneurysm surgery?

Surgical procedures for the repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms have a high success rate, with more than 95 percent of patients making a full recovery.

Is AAA screening a good idea?

Benefits of AAA screening About 8 in every 10 people who have a burst AAA die before they get to hospital or do not survive emergency surgery to repair it. Screening can pick up an AAA before it bursts. If an AAA is found, you can choose to have regular scans to monitor it or surgery to stop it bursting.

What should you not do with an aortic aneurysm?


  • Push, pull, bear down or lift anything heavier than 30 pounds (or 10 pounds for patients recovering from surgery).
  • Get a tattoo or body piercing.
  • Smoke (or be exposed to secondhand smoke) or use any other tobacco products.
  • Shovel snow, chop wood, dig earth or use a sledgehammer or snow blower.
  • Take illicit drugs.

At what size does a AAA burst?

AAA rupture risk is typically determined by size, and it has been shown that in the 5 years following AAA diagnosis, rupture occurs in approximately 2% of AAAs less than 4 cm in diameter and in more than 25% of AAAs larger than 5 cm.