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, which can cause life-threatening bleeding if it isn’t spotted early.
These aneurysms don’t usually cause any obvious symptoms, which is why screening can be important. Men aged 65 and over are most at risk of AAAs and are therefore invited to screening to check all is well. Screening is not routinely offered to men under 65, women and people who have already been treated for an AAA because the risk is much smaller in these groups.
If you’re a man and you’re registered with a GP, you should receive a screening invitation in the post when you’re 64 or soon after your 65th birthday.
If you’re a man over 65 and have not been screened before, you can also ask for a test by contacting us on 01823 344567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you think you might be at an increased risk of AAA – for example, because a close family member has had one – talk to your GP about the possibility of having a scan to check for an AAA. If your GP feels you might benefit from having a scan, this will usually be done when you’re five years younger than the age at which your relative was found to have an AAA.
We are part of the national AAA screening programme and cover Somerset and North Devon. We’re based in the vascular department at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton.