Diagnosing an abdominal aortic aneurysm 

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) usually causes no symptoms. Therefore, they tend to be diagnosed as a result of screening, or during a routine physical examination when a GP notices a distinctive pulsating sensation in your abdomen.

A diagnosis can be confirmed using an ultrasound scan. Ultrasound can also determine the size of the aneurysm, which is an important factor in deciding on a course of treatment.


All men in the UK who are 65 or over are offered an ultrasound scan to check for AAAs.

All men should receive an invitation in the year they turn 65 years old. Men who are older than 65 can refer themselves for screening by contacting their local NHS AAA screening service.

For more information, visit our page on AAA screening.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm: treating a large aneurysm

Jonothan Earnshaw, Consultant Vascular Surgeon and National Director of the NHS AAA Screening Programme, explains what happens when you have a large aneurysm and are referred to a vascular surgeon.

Media last reviewed: 20/05/2016

Next review due: 20/05/2018

Page last reviewed: 30/08/2014

Next review due: 30/08/2017