Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening

As promised in my post of Oct 26th, I today attended to have my abdominal aorta scanned.

Invited to lie on the couch, pull up my tee-shirt and stare at the ceiling, I imagined that the nurse would be rubbing that cold jelly over my entire abdomen. In fact it's deployed in a north-south line tracking the aorta, incrementally lubricating the ultrasound probe. It's very quick and the nurse stares fixedly at the screen (which the patient can't see) the whole time, as in this picture.

When it was over, I has handed some kitchen roll and invited to 'clean-up'. As I was doing so, the nurse informed me that 'I had a very small aorta, 1.8 cm diameter'.

I was simultaneously gratified and slightly diminished.


Thus pronounced healthy, I was bid depart with the promise that my aorta would never be imaged again (in the UK it's a one-shot screening programme for those turning 65).