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What is 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. It can be serious if it’s not spotted early on because it could get bigger and eventually burst (rupture).
Who’s screened for AAA
In England, screening for AAA is offered to men during the year they turn 65.
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.
How to get screened for AAA
If you’re a man and you’re registered with a GP, you’ll get a screening invitation in the post when you’re 64 or soon after your 65th birthday. You can then arrange an appointment that suits you.
If you’re a man over 65 and you haven’t been screened before, you can ask for a test by contacting your local AAA screening service directly.
Benefits of AAA screening
An AAA will often cause few or no obvious symptoms, but if it’s left to get bigger it could burst and cause life-threatening bleeding inside your tummy.
About 8 in every 10 people who have a burst AAA die before they get to hospital or don’t survive emergency surgery to repair it.
Screening can pick up an AAA before it bursts. If an AAA is found, you can then choose to have regular scans to monitor it or surgery to stop it bursting.
The screening test is very quick, painless and reliable. Research suggests it can halve the risk of dying from an AAA.
What happens during AAA screening
Screening for AAA involves a quick and painless ultrasound scan of your tummy.
This is similar to the scan pregnant women have to check on their baby.
Results of AAA screening
You’ll be told your result at the end of the test. If any problem is found, you’ll also be a sent letter confirming the result and letting you know what happens next.
There are four possible screening results.
For more information about AAA screening visit https://phescreening.blog.gov.uk/…/abdominal-aortic-aneury…/ or https://www.nhs.uk/con…/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm-screening/