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 becomes enlarged, however, it can result 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.
Colleen J. Moore, MD, FACS, vascular surgeon at Saint Francis Medical Center and John C. Wiggans, MD, FACS, vascular and thoracic surgeon also at Saint Francis will offer the next AAA screening February 15 from 7-11 am in the Heart Hospital – Entrance 7. Screenings cost $35 and require a 12-hour fast for accurate readings. For more information, visit www.sfmc.net/dev-2015 or call 573-331-3996.