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Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound

Abdominal aortic ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive procedure used to diagnose a variety of conditions including an aortic aneurysm, blood clots and narrowing of vessels. Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento provides exceptional diagnostics for our heart and vascular patients. Our cardiologists and physicians use the latest technology to ensure an accurate diagnosis so we can provide you with the best course of treatment available.

What Is Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound?

Abdominal aortic ultrasound is a cardiology imaging test that uses sound waves to form pictures of your abdominal aorta. Using a Doppler ultrasound, images are taken in real-time, so they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood as it flows through a blood vessel, including the body's major arteries and veins.

What To Expect During An Aortic Abdominal Ultrasound

  • You may be asked to put on a gown
  • You will lie on an exam table with your abdomen exposed
  • A nongreasy gel will be put on your skin
  • The sonographer will use a hand-held transducer (probe) against your abdomen. This probe helps create images of your abdominal organs
  • You may see the pictures of your organs on screen.
  • Your doctor will discuss the test results with you during a follow-up visit or over the phone.

Preparing For Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound

Before the test:

  • Be sure to mention the medications you take and ask if it's okay to take them before your test.
  • Do not eat or drink for six (6) hours before the test. Note: If you eat or drink anything, your test may be canceled.

Medicare Preventive Screening Benefit

Medicare offers a free screening to check for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Qualified seniors are eligible for a one-time AAA ultrasound screening. This screening is authorized for at-risk patients – men and women with a family history of AAA and men aged 65 to 75 who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.