If you or your physician is concerned about an Aortic aneurysm, you might get an Aorta ultrasound. An aneurysm is an out-pouching or area of expansion that can occur in a blood vessel. The aorta is the main artery that leads from the heart, courses through the abdomen and splits into the iliac arteries in the lower belly.
Being that the aorta is the main supplier or conduit of oxygenated blood through the body, making sure your aorta is of normal size and functional is important. Aneurysms can occur at any segment along the aorta and so having a baseline aorta ultrasound is often considered in patients with a strong family history or become symptomatic.
An Aorta ultrasound is seen coursing the abdomen and from the aorta are branches of blood vessels that go to the bowels, kidneys and so much more. Performing an Aorta ultrasound is well tolerated by patients. The only real limitation sonographers run into when evaluating aorta is overlying gas. Air is not ultrasound friendly and therefore patients with large abdomen girth and/or lots of gas, make seeing the aorta often difficult and limited.
This type of Diagnostic ultrasound requires a physician or provider order prior to performing exam.
Aorta Ultrasound Prep
In order to see the aorta in the abdomen the patient need to be Fasting a minimum of (8) eight hours. No food or drink is allowed. If medicine is needed to be taken in the morning, please use water only and a small portion.
You will be asked to lie on your back on the exam table. Often the aorta can be seen by lifting the shirt and opening up the pant line to access the belly button area. Warm Ultrasound gel will be placed on the abdomen and the transducer will be maneuvered across the belly. Measurements and survey of the aorta from the upper abdomen to the lower abdomen will be undertaken.
If the aorta is obscured by gas or overlying bowels, it may be necessary to reschedule the ultrasound exam for a different day to allow for the aorta to become properly visible.
All of the images from your ultrasound will then be sent to a Radiologist (interpreting physician) for a report to be generated for your referring physician. You will receive the results of your Ultrasound from your referring physician or the provider who ordered this ultrasound to be performed. Please refer back to the physician's office that sent you to obtain results of your ultrasound exams.