April 25, 2014 at 9:19 AM
SUMMIT, NJ - Overlook Medical Center has partnered with the AAAneurysm Outreach national non-profit organization to provide free abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screenings to Summit-area residents who are at high-risk for the disease.
For at-risk individuals, a simple, painless, ultrasound screening is an effective way to detect a potentially life-threatening aneurysm early enough for treatment.
An AAA is a blood-filled bulge or ballooning of the abdominal aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart to the lower part of the body. Over time, the vessel wall can lose its elasticity, and the force of normal blood pressure can cause the aneurysm to burst unexpectedly.
This can lead to severe pain, massive internal bleeding or sudden death. The risk for AAA increases for individuals that are age 60+, have a history of smoking, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a family history of the disease.
“More than one million people are living with an undiagnosed AAA, and if that aneurysm bursts only 10–25 percent of people will survive. By working with the AAAneurysm Outreach campaign and hosting this free screening, we are hoping to increase public awareness about AAA and empower people to ask the right questions,” said Overlook Chief of Vascular Surgery, Clifford M. Sales, MD.
Screening for AAA is quick and non-invasive, involving a simple ultrasound of the abdomen similar to a pregnancy ultrasound. In less than 15 minutes, the images produced will help a qualified technologist look for swelling along the aorta wall to determine if an AAA is present. If an aneurysm is detected, the ultrasound measures its size, which is a key step in identifying the best treatment option. Small aneurysms are monitored every six to 12 months for changes. Larger aneurysms may require immediate repair.
“Getting screened for AAA is a simple step that can help save lives. The good news is that when detected prior to rupture, 95 percent of these aneurysms can be managed and successfully treated, ” Sales reports.
WHAT: Free Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Ultrasound Screening
WHEN: April 28, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Screenings only take 15 minutes
WHERE: Overlook Center for Well Being, 357 Springfield Avenue
HOW: If you’re at risk for AAA, call 800 / 247-9580 to schedule a free screening.
To learn more about AAA, visit www.AneurysmOutreach.org.