The NHS Central England Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme, hosted by the vascular department at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, provides screening to men aged 65+ within Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell, South East Staffordshire and East Staffordshire.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening is a way of detecting swelling of the aorta – the main blood vessel that runs from the heart through to the abdomen and to the rest of the body.
This type of swelling is more common in men aged over 65 than it is in women and younger men, so men are invited for screening in the year they turn 65. Men who have not received screening over the age of 65 can contact the programme to request a scan.
Men are approximately six times more likely to have an abdominal aortic aneurysm than women. The risk of having an abdominal aortic aneurysm can also increase if:
- you smoke
- you have high blood pressure
- a brother, sister or parent has, or has had, an abdominal aortic aneurysm
Kimberley Kavanagh, AAA screening co-ordinator at Heartlands Hospital, said: “If you have an aneurysm you will not usually notice any symptoms. This means you cannot tell if you have one, you will not feel any pain and will probably not notice anything different.
“We offer screening so we can find aneurysms or swelling early and monitor or treat them. This greatly reduces the chance of the aneurysm causing serious problems.”
So what happens at a screening? Kimberley explains: “We use a simple ultrasound scan, similar to that offered to pregnant women. This is very quick and usually lasts less than 10 minutes.
“At the clinic we will check your personal details, explain the scan and give you the chance to ask any questions.
“We will ask you to lie down and then run a small ultrasound scanner on your abdomen. We will put a cool gel on your abdomen and then slide the scanning sensor over your skin. The scan will show a picture of the aorta on a screen and we will measure it.
“We will reveal your results straight away and also send a copy to your GP practice.
“If your abdominal aorta is normal, you won’t ever be invited for another screening.
“If you have a small to medium-sized aneurysm, you’ll be invited back for regular scans to check its size.
“If you have a large AAA, you’ll be referred to hospital to be seen by a vascular surgeon within two weeks. You will then be advised about treatment.”
For further information or to arrange an appointment please call 0121 424 3612/ 0121 424 1200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AAA screening programme is available in the following locations.
|Hockley Medical Practice
|Washwood Heath Health and Wellbeing
||Clodeshall Road, Saltley
|Sparkhill Primary Care Centre
|All Saints Medical Centre
|Summerfield Primary Care Centre
|Finch Road Primary Care Centre
|Handsworth Wood Medical Centre
|Stockland Green Health Centre
|The Dove Primary Care Centre
|The Swan Medical Centre
|Selly Oak Health Centre
|Broad Meadow Health Centre
|Woodgate Valley Health Centre
|Richmond Primary Care Centre
|Castle Vale Primary Care Centre
|Hodge Hill Primary Care Centre
|Chelmsley Wood Primary Care Centre
|West Heath Primary Care Centre
|Perry Park Surgery
|Tower Hill Partnership for health
|The Oaks Medical Centre
|Smethwick Medical Centre
|Oldbury Health Centre
|Dartmouth Medical Centre
|The Lyng Centre for Health
|Sutton Cottage Hospital
|Sir Robert Peel Hospital
|Tanworth Lane Surgery
|Hobs Moat Surgery
|Balsall Common Health Centre
|Winshill Medical Centre
||Burton on Trent
|Yoxall Health Centre
|Glebefields Health Centre
|Black Country Family Practice, Neptune
|Samuel Johnson Hospital