This noninvasive procedure is used to rule out any enlargement of the abdominal aorta. It uses a transducer that sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed on the abdomen at certain locations and angles, the ultrasonic sound waves move through the skin and other body tissues to the organs and structures of the abdomen. The sound waves bounce off the organs like an echo and return to the transducer. The transducer picks up the reflected waves, which are then converted into an electronic picture of the organs.
Abdominal aortic enlargement can be a silent killer. If the aorta enlarges to a certain degree, it can rupture and become a catastrophic medical emergency. Risk factors for developing an aneurysm include prior smoking, family history, age, hypertension and atheroscleoris.
Preparation: Please arrive fasting for 2 hours prior to the procedure.