Diagnosing an abdominal aortic aneurysm

Abdominal aortic aneurysms are often diagnosed during a routine physical examination when a GP notices the distinctive vibrating sensation in the abdomen.

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


In 2009, the NHS launched a screening programme for aortic aneurysms. The programme is designed to offer all men who are 65 years old or over an ultrasound scan for aortic aneurysms.

The programme is expected to cover the whole of England by April 2013 and is being introduced in Wales later in the year. You can still request an ultrasound scan for aortic aneurysm. Contact your GP for advice.

Men should receive an invitation in the year that they turn 65 years old.

For more information, visit the NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme website.

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