Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening

The NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme aims to reduce deaths from ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms through early detection, appropriate monitoring and treatment.

Men in their 65th year are automatically invited for an ultrasound scan.

If you, or a family member or friend, are male and over the age of 65 and have not yet been screened you can refer yourself into the screening programme by contacting our office 01223 256909. We will take your name and address and send out a self-referral pack which includes a explanation leaflet and a form to fill out.  Send this form back to Cambridge University Hospitals, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Box 288, ATC Level 5, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QQ and we will send you an appointment by letter within the next eight weeks. 

The Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and West Suffolk Programme is based in the Addenbrooke's Treatment Centre on Level 5. We scan across the region in GP surgeries, hospitals and health centres.

About the condition

  • An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a weakening and expansion of the aorta, the main blood vessel in the body 
  • Large aneurysms are rare but can be very serious 
  • Approximately 6,000 people in England and Wales die every year from ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms

Are they serious?

Large aneurysms are rare but can be very serious. As the wall of the aorta stretches it becomes weaker and could burst. If this happens, your chance of surviving is only about 20 out of 100.

Surgery is the most common treatment to repair large aneurysms that are found through screening. Approximately 97 to 98 out of every 100 patients make a full recovery from AAA repair surgery.

An aorta which is only slightly larger than normal is not dangerous. However, it is still important to know about it and to monitor its growth at regular intervals.

Who is at risk?

Men are approximately six times more likely to have an abdominal aortic aneurysm than women. The chance of having an aneurysm increases with age. 
The risk of having an abdominal aortic aneurysm can also increase if:

  • You smoke 
  • You have high blood pressure 
  • Your brother, sister or parent has, or has had, an abdominal aortic aneurysm

For more information


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