SEATTLE, Feb. 6, 2013 - Screenings for cancer, high blood pressure and cholesterol are probably on your doctor visit checklist. Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) probably should be, too, but many doctors don’t know about it. Vascular surgeons from Swedish are hosting a free community health education class about this silent killer and whether this important screening is right for you. The 90-minute program will be at Swedish/Ballard (5300 Tallman Ave. N.W.) on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
We assess all sorts of things everyday. How’s the stock market? How’s the car running? What’s the weather planning for us today?
But when was the last time you looked at how your own engine is running? It’s time to do a personal health assessment to get a look at your health profile.
There are screenings that are recommended at certain ages that will tell you what your health profile is looking like, so you can take an active role in reducing your risk for disease.
What you need to be checked for and when:
Intracranial aneurysms are present in up to 4 percent of the population. These potentially dangerous vascular lesions are being detected with increasing frequency in asymptomatic patients by advances in noninvasive imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). Appearing like blisters on the wall of the brain’s blood vessels, aneurysms develop when the blood vessel’s native repair ability is exceeded by the mild, but constant, injury created by flowing blood under high pressure. The five most common risk factors for developing an aneurysm are: smoking, female gender, high blood pressure, middle age and family history.
Intracranial aneurysms are complex lesions that require a highly specialized, multidisciplinary approach that is individualized for each patient. Key members of the care team for these patients include endovascular neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons with special expertise in aneurysm surgery and neuroanesthesiologists. Availability of dedicated neurocritical care units is an essential care component. A consensus recommendation by these specialists may include close observation, obliteration of the aneurysm with a surgical clip, or filling the vascular outpouching with filamentous coils that are introduced by endovascular microcatheters via an artery in the leg. This latter process is called “coiling.”