(NAPS)- New Medicare recipients can protect themselves from a serious, often fatal, by being screened for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) before it ruptures.
AAA is an enlargement that develops in weakened areas in the body's largest artery. The enlargement occurs slowly, over several years, with no symptoms. Most people are unaware of their AAA until it becomes large enough to rupture. Rupture causes sudden, severe pain; and death occurs in most people before they can reach a hospital.
Beginning in 2007, a free, one time, ultrasound AAA screening is available for at-risk Medicare beneficiaries during their Welome to Medicare physical. At risk are men who have smoked sometime during their lives, and men and women with a family history of AAA. If AAA is detected, patients should consult with a vascular surgeon. Treatment options include medical management with close follow-up for small AAAs; and minimally invasive endovascular procedures, or open surgery for larger aneurysms.
For additional information, or to find a vascular surgeon, visit www.VascularWeb.org or call (877) 282-2010.Republished with permission by the Society for Vascular Surgery. Vascular surgeons provide expert care for circulatory disease. They are the only physicians who are skilled in all vascular treatments including medical management, noninvasive procedures, as well as surgery for advanced cases. Learn more about vascular conditions and treatments and find a vascular surgeon at VascularWeb.