Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA)
As part of a national screening programme, men aged 65 will be invited to attend a local clinic to receive an ultrasound scan which can detect Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) – a condition that affects the aorta, the main artery that runs from the heart down through the chest and abdomen.
As people get older, the wall in the abdomen can become weak and balloon out, forming an aneurysm.
Most men are unaware that they have the condition and will have no symptoms; for many men the rupture of the aneurysm is the very first sign of the problem.
Ruptures can result in death – around 8 in 10 ruptures will prove fatal.
Using an ultrasound scan, which is quick and painless, can determine if an aneurysm is present, with results made available instantly after the scan.
Most men who attend AAA screening will have a normal result. If an aneurysm is found results of the scan will be sent to the individual’s GP who will discuss the results and whether they need to be monitored or referred to a specialist.
Dr Charles Saunders, NHS Fife Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said: “Screening allows us to find aneurysms early and monitor or treat them. Small or medium aneurysms rarely cause trouble but it is important to monitor them to see if they grow. Large aneurysms are uncommon but can be serious.
“I would encourage all men aged 65 who receive an invitation for AAA screening to read the leaflet and look at the website for all the information about taking up the invitation for screening.”
The first screening clinic in Fife will be held at Queen Margaret Hospital, and over the course of the year all men in their 65th year will receive an invitation to be screened at a Fife hospital.
For further information on AAA screening call the NHS inform helpline on 0800 22 44 88 or visit the Screening Scotland website at www.nhsinform.co.uk/screening
For more information contactNHS Fife, Switchboard
Tel: 01592 643355
By Post: NHS Fife, Hayfield House Hayfield Road Kirkcaldy Fife KY2 5AH