This screening will detect the current size of the aorta and abnormal aorta wall tissue that may cause dangerous dilation of the aorta. A simple ultrasound examination is used to evaluate aneurysms that lead to deadly rupture. Most aneurysms — abnormal bulges or “ballooning” in the wall of an artery — occur in the aorta. The aorta is the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. There are two types of aortic aneurysms:
1. Thoracic aortic aneurysms occur in the part of the aorta running through the chest.
2. Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur in the part of the aorta running through the abdomen.
Most aortic aneurysms are discovered by accident because there are no symptoms and it cannot be discovered by a physical examination! Because aneurysms can develop and become large before causing any symptoms, it is important to look for them in people who are at high risk. Ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms is recommended for men who have ever smoked and are between the ages of 65 and 75. Medicines and surgery are the two main treatments for aneurysms.
This screening is a reliable way to detect a problem in the early stages, while there is time to change your lifestyle in order to eliminate risk.