Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Exam

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) are common and account for approximately 9,000 deaths in the United States annually. AAAs can remain stable for years, and if left untreated may eventually rupture, leading to life-threatening bleeding and complications. The mortality rate is high for ruptured AAAs, with one in three AAAs rupturing, and emergency surgery can be dangerous.

The United States Preventative Task Force recommends a one-time screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm by ultrasonography in men aged 65-75 who have a history of smoking. This abdominal ultrasound exam is covered if your physician orders it as part of your “Welcome to Medicare” physical exam. An abdominal ultrasound can detect an aneurysm and investigate its size and location. The exact cause of aortic aneurysms are unknown, but risk factors for developing an aortic aneurysm include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Tobacco use (most influential of all the risk factors)
  • Obesity
  • Emphysema
  • Genetic factors
  • Male Gender

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Preparation

  • No food or drink eight hours prior to the exam.
  • Please arrive 20 minutes prior to your appointment time.
  • Bring pertinent x-rays or other imaging studies with you.