The Radiology Department at Spire Parkway Hospital in the West Midlands can now offer Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) scanning for anyone who thinks they may be at risk of developing the condition.
Research has demonstrated that offering men ultrasound screening at the age of 65 could reduce the rate of premature death from ruptured AAA by up to 50 percent, and NHS screening is available to men of that age, but for a one-off payment, this new private service at Spire Parkway Hospital is available to anyone over the age of 50 with vascular risk factors.
By carrying out ultrasound scanning using modern equipment, the specialists at Spire Parkway Hospital aim to identify undiagnosed AAAs early and accurately, to enable patients to make an informed choice about the ongoing management of their condition.
All scans are performed and reported by a Consultant Radiologist, and our rapid-access clinic will ensure results are returned to your GP or Consultant promptly.
What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
An aortic aneurysm is a swelling of the aorta in the abdomen. The aorta is the main artery that brings blood from the heart to the major organs of the body and the abdomen.
As people age, the wall of the aorta may weaken and this can cause the walls to expand and an aneurysm, or bulge, can form. A small aneurysm is not dangerous but it is important that it is regularly monitored. A large aneurysm if left untreated can cause the wall of the aorta to give way, and this can be fatal.
AAA is most common in men over 65 years of age, and in men or women with a family history of the condition. The chance of having an aneurysm increases with age and may also increase if you smoke or have high blood pressure.
Generally there is no pain and/or side-effects associated with AAA, which is why screening is so important.
Factors increasing the risk of developing AAA include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight
- Lack of physical activity
- Family history (AAA is more common in those with a first degree relative who has had an AAA).
Do I need a GP referral?
No, you may refer yourself for this scan and an appointment can be made through our imaging department on 0121 704 5550. If your GP feels this scan is necessary they are able to refer you.
However, if you are claiming through an insurance company they may prefer you to have a referral from your GP.
What does the test involve?
The test is an ultrasound scan that is carried out by a Consultant Radiologist. The scan itself is painless and there are no side-effects.
The scan will show the radiologist a picture of the aorta and its size. From this the radiologist will be able to determine if there is an aneurysm.
The results will be explained to you immediately and the also be sent to your GP.
There are three possible results from the scan:
No aneurysm, and the aorta is not enlarged. No treatment is required.
- Small aneurysm
A small swelling in the aorta. Usually, no treatment is required but regular screenings will be recommended to monitor the the aneurysm.
- Large aneurysm
The aorta is much wider than normal. A referral to a vascular surgeon will follow to develop a treatment plan. Not all patients with an aneurysm will need surgery.
To book an appointment with the Imaging Department at Spire Parkway Hospital please call:
0121 704 5550