Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – The Ticking Time Bomb

November 30th, 2015

What do Albert Einstein, Lucille Ball, Conway Twitty, and George C. Scott all have in common? They each died from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). An aneurysm is an enlargement of a blood vessel. The most common place for one to occur is in the abdominal aorta – the largest blood vessel in your body.

“Aortic aneurysm is a silent illness,” said Prairie Cardiologist, Dr. Raed Al-Dallow. Like a ticking time bomb, there are no symptoms until they rupture. According to Al-Dallow, its rupture is usually fatal.

AAA’s are twice as common in men as in women. Risk factors are having a first degree relative with an aneurysm, smoking, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, and chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease. If you are a man or woman who has had a coronary artery bypass operation and you continue to smoke, your chance of having an AAA is nearly 20%.

AAA’s are easily identified with a simple, noninvasive ultrasound. If identified early, aneurysms can be followed and treated with very little risk. A single screening ultrasound in high risk individuals has been shown to reduce the chance of dying from an aneurysm by 70%.

“If you are at risk, don’t wait,” urges Al-Dallow. “Screening is the best way to find out.” With some very specific criteria, you may be eligible for a Medicare screening abdominal ultrasound at no cost to you.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Preventative Screening

Are you:
  • A man age 65-75 years of age who has smoked 100 or more cigarettes in your life?
  • A man or woman with a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms?

If the answer is “yes” you should request a FREE Medicare® abdominal ultrasound AAA screening from your physician. There is no time limit to obtain this exam and there is no Part B deductible or coinsurance/copayment applied to this benefit.

Test Performed at
Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
618.549.0721 ext 65282

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