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.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) earns its ‘silent killer’ nickname because it can grow without causing symptoms. AAA is a bulge in the blood vessel that moves blood away from the heart. A vascular surgeon (a doctor who does surgery on blood vessels) usually monitors a small bulge because there is no immediate risk. It is important, however, to repair a large bulge before it ruptures. A ruptured AAA is life-threatening and requires emergency surgery.
Although AAA is currently the third leading cause of death in men age 60 and older, there is hope. A simple ultrasound screening can detect AAA. If AAA is detected and treated early, the survival rate is greater than 99 percent.
Registration for this free class is required. To register, and see a full list of classes at all Swedish campuses, visit www.swedish.org/classes or call 206-386-2502 unless otherwise noted. Class information is subject to change.