What happens during screening? 

The screening test for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a simple, pain-free ultrasound scan of the abdomen that usually takes about 10 minutes.

When you arrive for your appointment, a screening technician will check your details, explain the scan and give you the chance to ask any questions.

You’ll be asked to lie down and lift up or unbutton your shirt. You don’t need to undress.

The technician will put a clear gel on your stomach (abdomen) and then move a small ultrasound scanner over the skin.

The ultrasound scan will display a picture of the abdominal aorta on a monitor, and the technician can then measure its thickness.

Once you’ve been given the chance to wipe the gel from your abdomen and tuck your shirt back in, the technician will tell you the result straight away and your GP will also be informed.

Occasionally, the technician will not be able to see the aorta clearly. This is not a cause for concern. If this is the case, they will ask you to have another scan, usually on a different day.

Read more about AAA screening results.

Page last reviewed: 30/08/2014

Next review due: 30/06/2017