The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


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. Aneurysms can occur in any blood vessel and one of the more common sites is in the abdominal aorta. In some people, particularly older men, the walls of the artery weaken causing the blood vessel 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 and strengthens 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 Foundation Trust Hospitals.  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 for surgical assessment/intervention.

Rupture of an AAA and emergency surgery is associated with a high mortality rate whereas early detection, surveillance and planned treatment can significantly reduce the death rate from this condition. 

Research has shown that the condition affects men more frequently than women and the prevalence increases with age. Consequently the service is routinely offered to men in their 65th year and older men in the area can self refer. As the condition generally does not have symptoms until the condition is becomes critical, the aim of the programme is to identify the condition early and offer planned if necessary.

We provide a predominantly community based service at local GP surgeries and our team do ultrasound measurements of the aorta. The procedure in non invasive, harmless and quick and results are given at the clinic and GPs are notified of the outcome by letter. 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 AAA reaches a critical size a referral is made to a vascular consultant who will arrange further investigations and may consider surgery.

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.  

Coverage

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. If symptoms associated with an AAA develop between appointments (which may include severe back or abdominal pain), patients are advised to discuss these with their GP or attend a hospital accident and emergency department. If the screening team identify a significant problem, an urgent referral is made to the vascular surgery department and the patient will be seen at the next available OPD clinic.  National posters and "Information for Health Professionals" are available from the AAA screening office. Patient 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.

Contact Details

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.

Opening Hours

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.

More Information