AAA: Who Should be Screened for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
Your aorta is the largest blood vessel in your body, extending from your heart to your abdomen. If the lower area of the aorta becomes enlarged, this is called an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). The enlargement may not produce any outward symptoms and the enlargement can remain small, grow slowly and be non-life-threatening. However, any rupture in this area due to fast growing AAAs could lead to life-threatening internal bleeding.
Men age 65-75 who have ever smoked should be screened for AAA with ultrasonography one time. Males who have not ever smoked may not need this screening unless other risk factors are present. AAA screening with ultrasonography is not recommended for women, regardless of whether they have smoked before. (These are recommendations by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force – USPSTF.)
Risk Factors for AAA
- Smoking: damages the walls of your arteries
- High blood pressure: weakens the walls of the aorta
- Vasculitis: inflammation of the aorta
- Family history of AAA or heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Abdominal trauma
- Lack of exercise
Possible Advanced Symptoms of AAA
- Intense back pain
- Abdominal pain that is deep and constant
- Clammy skin
- Pulsation sensation near your navel
If you are a man living in South Carolina between the ages of 65-75, ask your doctor if they recommend Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening in Spartanburg. Asking this simple question could be a life-saving move on your part.
The team at Westgate Family Physicians can provide ultrasonography tests for AAA in Spartanburg, SC. If AAA is diagnosed, we will closely monitor the condition. If surgery is needed to repair the damaged tissue or remove the damaged areas, we will work closely with specialists to make the appropriate referral. To schedule an appointment, please call (864) 574-0070 or click here.