A single abdominal aortic ultrasound scan is recommended for men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have a history of regular smoking at some point in their lifetime. On the other hand, routine screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms isn’t recommended for women.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is a swelling of the aorta – the main artery supplying blood to the gut and lower limbs.
AAA is not a common disorder.
Between 2%-13% of men and 6% of women over the age of 65 are diagnosed with AAA.
AAA is more likely in people over the age of 65 but has also been known to occur in 1 in 1000 people between the ages of 60 and 65 years old.
The most common symptoms of AAA are experiencing a sudden pain in the abdomen or back, a pain that may spread from the abdomen or back to the pelvis, legs or buttocks, clammy/sweaty skin, increased heart rate, and shock or loss of consciousness.
The main risk associated with a AAA is sudden rupture. In most cases if one does not get to hospital quick enough and more importantly, if it’s presence is not known beforehand, can lead to death. The most common tests for AAA are abdominal ultrasound, CT scan or MRI.
If AAA can be diagnosed early, yes is can be curable.
If treatment is possible the most common options are open abdominal surgery to remove the damaged section of the aorta and replace it with a grafted tube, or by an endovascular repair.
Dr Ali Zaman
MBBS FRCR MPharm PGCert
All ultrasound scans at Rejuvence Medical are carried out by our Consultant Radiologist – Dr Ali Zaman. Dr Zaman graduated from Barts and The London Medical School in 2009. He has also obtained a Masters degree in Pharmacology. After completing his training in General Medicine and Surgery, he pursued specialty training in Radiology obtaining his Fellowship in Radiology (FRCR). Dr Zaman subsequently followed this up with the prestigious European Board of Interventional Radiology Fellowship and trained as a fellow in Interventional Radiology at the Royal London Hospital.
Dr Zaman is currently a Consultant Interventional Radiologist at Mid and South Essex University Hospitals. He is an expert in ultrasound and ultrasound guided interventions, having performed thousands of such tests and procedures.
We are overwhelmed to have Dr Zaman as a member of our team at Rejuvence Medical.
Risks of AAA screening
Abdominal ultrasound is a safe procedure and has no known risks.
How to prepare
Ideally you should avoid food for 8 hours prior to your scan. We understand that this may of course not be very practical, especially if you are coming from work. Therefore, if possible, please try to skip lunch. Food in your stomach can make it difficult for the sonographer to generate clear images. In general you should continue to take your regular medication.
What you can expect
A Consultant Radiologist will perform your scan. A small amount of ultrasound gel is applied to your abdomen. The gel enables the ultrasound device to provide better images.
The Radiologist will gently press an ultrasound probe against your tummy, moving it back and forth. A standard ultrasound scan takes around 20 minutes to complete. It’s usually painless. However, it is not uncommon to experience some discomfort if the Radiologist is required to press down on areas where you may have some pain. We always try to ensure you are comfortable at all times.
The radiologist will prepare a written report immediately after your scan. You can wait for the written report and should you wish a copy of your scan images can be sent to you via email so you have them to hand at all times.
Follow up with Rejuvence Medical
We always recommend booking in a consultation immediately after your scan with one of our doctors to discuss the results of your scan and to provide advice regarding any further investigations and/or treatment. Further investigations and treatment can include:
- Referral to a specialist (Private/NHS*)
- Referral for further imaging (CT/MRI)
* Please note that for referrals back to NHS you will still have to go via your GP but Rejuvence Medical will provide a full report and cover letter in support of the referral.
Alternative medical providers
We are connected to NHS digital and the PACS framework. Should you wish your scan images can be sent directly to your NHS GP or hospital consultant. If you have been referred by a private medical practitioner, with your consent, your results will be securely emailed through to them.