Central Yorkshire AAA Screening Programme
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening in Central Yorkshire is part of a national AAA screening programme that has been rolled out across England, to detect this vascular condition. An aneurysm is an abnormal swelling of an artery. Aneurysms can occur in any artery and one of the more common sites is in the abdominal aorta, which is the artery that carries blood from the heart down towards the legs. In some people, the walls of the artery weaken causing the walls of the artery to expand and balloon out. If expansion continues, the artery walls continue to weaken and may eventually burst (rupture) which can prove fatal. The only current treatment is surgery where a graft is inserted to strengthen or replace the artery wall. This usually lasts a lifetime and will not need to be replaced.
Our service is based at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds and is a joint venture between the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. The service was launched in April 2012 and up to March 2017 had screened in excess of 35,000 men, detected over 500 AAAs and has referred over 60 men on to the vascular surgeons to consider treatment.
Rupture of an AAA and emergency surgery is associated with a high mortality rate whereas early detection, surveillance and planned treatment greatly reduces the risk to health from this condition.
Research has shown that abdominal aortic aneurysms affect men about five times more frequently than women and the prevalence increases with age. Consequently, the service is routinely offered to men in the year they turn 65. Older men in the are can also join the screening programme but need to contact our office to make an appointment on Tel:0113 2063640 and our Email is leedsth-tr.AAAScreening@nhs.net.
Most aneurysms cause no symptoms until they grow to a large size and burst. The aim of the programme is to identify aneurysms at a small size with an ultrasound scan. If detected, a small aneurysm can be closely monitored with regular ultrasound scans. Patients who have a larger aneurysm will then be referred to a vascular surgeon to consider treatment.
We provide a predominantly community based service at local GP surgeries and our team perform the ultrasound scan to measure the size of the aorta. The procedure is quick and painless. You are given the results of the scan immediately and we inform your GP by letter. If inconvenient, appointments can easily be rearranged by contacting the screening office.
If the artery is wider than normal, we enter patients into a surveillance programme and offer repeat ultrasound scans at yearly or 3-monthly intervals depending of the size of the AAA. Patients are also offered an appointment with a vascular nurse specialist who will review their life style, medication and blood pressure measurements and make recommendations and offer additional advice and information if appropriate.
When and if the aneurysm reaches a certain size a referral is made to a vascular consultant who will arrange further investigations to help plan treatment.
Our service provides screening in over 145 different GP surgeries throughout the Leeds and Wakefield areas and 7 hospital facilities. A full list of all available screening sites can be found here. This takes a great deal of organisation and travel by our team but we feel is justified to help maintain the uptake in this service of well over 80%.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions Prior To Screening here for more information.
Who can have screening
Men who are reaching the year of their 65th birthday or older and are registered at GPs with Leeds and Wakefield Postcodes and also Bradford 11 and 19 postcodes.
How to access
Men in their 65th year are routinely contacted by the screening programme and offered an appointment. The screening programme is provided with details of men registered at GP practices in the above noted areas. Older men who have not been screened before and who are registered with a GP in the above areas can self refer by contacting the screening programme office (telephone, letter or email). A mutually convenient appointment at one of our screening venues can then be arranged. Patient information leaflets are available in various formats and in a wide range of languages and "easy read" versions and can be found here. They are also available on the National AAA Screening Programme website.
The Central Yorkshire AAA Screening Programme Office,
Seacroft Hospital, York Road,
Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS14 6UH
Tel:0113 2063640 and our Email is leedsth-tr.AAAScreening@nhs.net.
You can leave a phone message out of hours on the answerphone and we will contact you on the next working day.
Monday to Friday 9am to 3.30pm.
You can leave a phone message out of hours on the ansaphone and we will contact you on the next working day.
- National AAA Screening Programme Office Number: 01452 318844
- Vascular Society website
- NHS Choices - Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
- AAA Screening Supporting Documents
- Circulation Foundation
- British Heart Foundation