Are You At Risk for Aortic Aneurysm?

Screening is the only way to detect an aortic aneurysm before symptoms appear. Talk to your doctor about getting screened if you're at risk.

If left untreated, an aortic aneurysm can burst and cause dangerous bleeding or even death. Screening is vital if you are at risk so that your doctor can refer you for a full diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

Aortic Aneurysms: Risk, Screening and Treatment

Marc Schermerhorn, MD, Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at BIDMC, explains aortic aneurysms and why it's essential to seek treatment if necessary.

How to Get Screened

Call your primary care physician to schedule a screening if you are at risk. An ultrasound can detect an aortic aneurysm simply and painlessly. This test uses sound waves to create an image of your aorta, and can measure the size of an aneurysm so that your doctor can recommend next steps for treatment. The ultrasound screening usually takes less than 30 minutes.

If you would like to be screened at BIDMC, but are not currently a patient, please fill out this form to request an appointment with a physician. If you have a referral, please call 617-754-9500 to schedule an appointment. Aortic aneurysm screening is performed at Beth Israel Deaconess locations in:

  • Boston
  • Chelsea
  • Chestnut Hill
  • Lexington

What Does a Screening Cost

Costs vary depending on your insurance coverage. If you are a Medicare subscriber, you may be eligible for a one-time free screening if you are at-risk and have a referral from your doctor. Contact Medicare or talk to your doctor to find out more.

Who is at Risk

Your risk increases with age. Men are four times more likely to develop an aortic aneurysm. Smoking increases your risk. A family history of aortic aneurysm also increases your risk.

What to Expect

Dr. LitmanovichDiana Litmanovich, MD, Chief, Cardiothoracic Imaging, explains what to expect during an abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound screening exam.