Aortic Aneurysm Screening Ultrasound
The Aorta is the body's largest artery and is the main conduit for blood from the heart to all vital organs. An aortic aneurysm is caused by a progressive weakening of the wall of the aorta, which leads to dilatation. In the abdomen, this dilatation can be diagnosed and monitored by US, which can also indicate if further intervention is warranted.
The patient must go without food and drink for six hours prior to an abdominal study. Necessary medications may be taken with a small amount of water only.
How the Test is Performed
You will be lying down for the procedure. A clear, water-based conducting gel is applied to the skin over the abdomen. This helps with the transmission of the sound waves, allows for smooth movement of the transducer over the skin and to eliminate air between the skin and the transducer for the best sound conduction.
A handheld probe called a transducer is then moved over the abdomen until the aorta has been evaluated and the desired images captured. You may need to change position so that the doctor can look at different areas.
What will I experience during the procedure?
There is usually no discomfort from pressure as the transducer is pressed against the area being examined.
Once the imaging is complete, the clear ultrasound gel will be wiped off your skin. Any portions that are not wiped off will dry to a powder. The ultrasound gel does not stain or discolour clothing.
How long does the procedure take?
The test usually takes less than 15-20 minutes.
Common Risk Factors For Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms include
- Over age 55
- Family history
- High blood pressure or "hypertension"
- High cholesterol