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New Ultrasound Screening Service launched by Mary Street Medical Centre
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
Mary Street Medical Centre now provides an ultrasound screening service for the detection of aortic aneurysms. An aortic aneurysm is an enlargement of the main blood vessel in the abdomen. It may enlarge to such an extent that it can rupture and this is often fatal.
These aneurysms often have no symptoms. Recent medical studies have shown that screening for aortic aneurysms reduces the mortality by 43% in men between the age of 65 and 75 years. This screening service has been carried out by the N.H.S. in the U.K. for several years unfortunately due to financial constraints the H.S.E. have been unable to provide such a service here.
The ultrasound screening test takes about 20 minutes to perform. We are delighted to be able to provide this service to our patients in Mary Street Medical Centre at a very competitive price of €70.
Please contact one of our receptionists to make an appointment for this service on (052) 6121288 or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An aneurysm is a swelling of an artery which usually develops over a period of years. Although aneurysms can affect any artery, they most commonly occur in the abdominal aorta just above the belly button. There are called Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) and occur in 5% of men over 60 years of age.
The natural course of aortic aneurysms is to gradually enlarge. They do not usually cause any symptoms. However after they reach about three times the normal diameter of the aorta they carry an increasing risk of rupture. The rupture of an aortic aneurysm causes massive internal bleeding. AAA is caused by the weakening of the artery wall. Risk factors for developing AAA are family history, high blood pressure and smoking. They arise more commonly in men.
Because they are usually asymptomatic, aneurysms are normally detected incidentally during a routine examination or after having tests for other conditions. There is good evidence that detecting and treating aneurysms earlier through screening with ultrasound reduces the risk of death from aneurysm rupture.
The risk of aneurysm rupture is directly related to its size. It is generally recommended that aneurysms below 5cm in diameter are not treated immediately but monitored until they enlarge to 5.5cm. This is called watchful waiting; the rationale is not to subject patients to the risks of surgical repair until the risk of rupture is at least 5% per year. The average growth rate for aneurysms is 3mm per year.
Treatment of aortic aneurysm involves either replacing the swollen artery with a graft sewn inside the aorta (open surgical repair) or inserting a stent graft inside the aneurysm by minimally invasive endovascular techniques (endovascular aneurysm repair or EVAR).