What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)?
The aorta is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the body.
As some people get older the wall of the aorta in the abdomen can become weak. It can then start to expand and form what is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The condition is most common in men over the age of 65 and often has no symptoms. Large aneurysms are rare but can be very serious. If they rupture they cause massive internal bleeding which is usually fatal. Read more about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms on the NHS Choices website.
In Wiltshire the AAA Screening Programme is provided by Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. It aims to reduce deaths from ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms by up to 50% by detecting them early and monitoring and treating them appropriately. Women are not invited for screening because 95% of ruptured AAA occur in men over 65.
During the year they turn 65, all men in Wiltshire will receive a letter from the NHS inviting them for AAA screening, providing they are registered with a doctor. Screening involves an ultrasound scan that takes around 10 minutes. Scans are carried out at different locations around the county and your invitation letter will give you more details.
Men over 65 who have not been screened previously can arrange a screening appointment by contacting their local programme directly.
If you have any questions about this service please contact the AAA Screening Programme Manager at Salisbury Hospital on 01722 336262 ext 2640 or 2539.
Further information is also available from the national NHS AAA Screening Programme website.
Last updated: 15 October 2013