ETMC plans screenings for abdominal aortic aneurysm - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETMC plans screenings for abdominal aortic aneurysm

ETMC Tyler Radiology is offering a reduced-cost screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms Saturdays, January 28-March 4. This will help detect a condition that becomes life threatening if not treated.


“We are providing ultrasound screening of the aorta at a cost of $50 for a limited time,” said ETMC Tyler Radiology Director Bill Tobin. “These will pinpoint patients who may be developing AAA. Usually this test would cost over $350.”


“With this type of aneurysm, the main blood vessel from the heart develops a bulge. The patient will not notice symptoms but the bulge will continue to expand until it bursts like a balloon," Mr. Tobin said. “As many as 50 percent of patients with untreated aneurysms will die of a rupture within five years. These are deaths that can be prevented.”


The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 13 that18,000 deaths annually in America are caused by AAA. “Many people have never heard of abdominal aortic aneurysms yet they cause more deaths than many conditions that are household words,” Mr. Tobin said.


“Individuals over age 60 need to be aware of the dangers and those at risk should consider a screening,” he said.

Those at risk include anyone who has suffered cardiovascular disease. Men are more likely to develop AAA than women, but anyone over sixty is at increased risk with any of these factors:


· High blood pressure
· High cholesterol
· History of smoking
· Obesity
· Atherosclerosis

Individuals with a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm are also at a significantly increased risk.
“It’s unfortunate that the awareness is so limited,” noted Mr. Tobin.  “People don’t realize the toll this condition takes in
America, yet treatment options make it possible to prevent deaths if a problem is detected prior to a rupture. If a repair is conducted under emergency conditions, the survival rate is only 50 percent.”


“Conventional surgery is often used to treat AAA,” Mr. Tobin noted, “but less-invasive alternatives are now available.”


“The first step is spotting the problem,” he said.

To schedule an AAA screening at ETMC for the special limited-time rate, individuals should call (903) 596-3850 or 800-850-7050 from
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday.


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