"It may sound unromantic at first,” said Donna Mendes, M.D., a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “In reality, a vascular screening of your loved one’s health is a very thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift.”
The one-size-fits-all gift is a 15-minute ultrasound to check abdominal blood vessels for bulges. If it is found, the vascular condition is referred to as an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
“Treated in its early stages, a person with an AAA has a 95 percent success rate,” said Dr. Mendes. “If the aneurysm isn’t detected early and it ruptures, there are just minutes to arrive at a hospital and repair the damage. A person with a ruptured AAA has a 10 to 25 percent survival rate.”
More than one million Americans are living with undiagnosed AAAs. In most instances, the condition occurs without warning. Persons who are most at risk of developing an AAA are:
The Society for Vascular Surgery is one of five medical societies that comprise the national Find the AAAnswers Coalition (http://www.findtheaaanswers.org/
). Dedicated to the early detection of AAAs, the group formed in 2009. Since then, coalition members have provided 35 free vascular screenings at locations nationwide. One hundred AAAs have been detected.
“At our 2011 SVS Vascular Annual Meeting® last year, we provided a free screening for Chicago residents,” said Dr. Mendes. “As a result, AAAs were detected in their early stages.”
For vascular health information, visit: VascularWeb.org.
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About the Society for Vascular Surgery®
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,750 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at VascularWeb.org®. Follow SVS on Twitter and Facebook.