Abdominal Aortic aneurysm

An aneurysm is an abnormal dilation of an artery. It can affect the aorta, the main artery in the body that runs from the thorax down to the abdomen. There may be underlying disease conditions or increased risk due to family history but many aortic aneurysms go undetected and are at risk of rupture which is life-threatening. The NHS offers ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm to men between the ages of 60 and 75 but it is possible that others outside these age groups may also benefit from scanning to detect the early stages of an aneurysm.

Dr Crowe offers the full range of non-invasive scanning techniques for abdominal aortic aneurysm ranging from Doppler ultrasound examination, a quick and easy screening test to more detailed CT and MRI angiography for planning treatment and following up patients who have already had an aneurysm treated. Aortic and other vascular scanning is available at all of Dr Crowe’s treatment locations.

The conventional treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm was open surgery with replacement of the diseased segment of the artery. This is considered when the aneurysm reached a certain critical size (5 cm diameter for men and 4.5 cm in diameter for women). If the aneurysm has not been picked up early and ruptures emergency surgery carries a very high mortality and many of those suffering a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm not even make it hospital. Hence the importance of early detection and a planned approach to treatment.

More recently less invasive techniques have been developed to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms using stents (so-called EVAR or endovascular aneurysm repair). Dr Crowe works closely with two of the leading specialist in the country, Mr Donald Adam and Mr Martin Claridge of Premier Vascular who offer the full range of advanced EVAR treatments.

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