An abdominal aortic ultrasound is a test utilized to image the aorta which is the main blood vessel carrying blood from the heart to the body. It is non-invasive and painless and uses high-frequency sound waves or ultrasound to image the aorta.
When the walls of the abdominal aorta become weak, they may balloon outward putting a patient at risk for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. As the aneurysm grows there is an increased risk of rupture. Through this ultrasound procedure, we are able to measure the size of the aneurysm and also to screen for these aneurysms in patients. Screening is particularly recommended for men over the age of 60 who have smoked at some point in their life and anyone with a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm. In addition to screening, ultrasound is also a useful tool after the diagnosis of AAA to monitor its size on a regular basis to see if it needs to be repaired.
- No food and drink 8 hours before the procedure
- Take your medications as usual