The normal diameter of the aorta, the largest artery in the body, is about 2.5 centimeters, or about the same as a quarter. If the aorta gets enlarged, however, the cost can be much higher: a rupture resulting in a hemorrhage or even death.
The abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening at Saint Francis Medical Center uses ultrasound technology to detect an enlarged area, or aneurysm, in the aorta before it is too late.The screening is recommended for people beginning at age 50 if they have a family history of cardiovascular disease or risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes.
John C. Wiggans, MD, FACS, vascular and thoracic surgeon, and Colleen Moore, MD, FACS, vascular surgeon, both at Saint Francis, will offer the next AAA screening 7-11 am June 15 in the Heart Hospital – Entrance 7. Screenings cost $35 and require a 12-hour fast for accurate readings. For more information,call 573-331-3155.