NI AAA Screening Programme Office
Tel: 028 9063 1828

What it's like being diagnosed with a large AAA...

My name is Barry.  Two years ago I was offered the opportunity to have a scan under the NI AAA Screening Programme.  I must admit I was not overly keen.  I was reasonably fit, working every day, and in no pain or discomfort.  To be honest, I read through the literature and decided this was not for me, I felt great.  On the day of my scan, as luck would have it, I found myself within a hundred yards of the medical centre close to my appointment time and decided to give it a go.  The screening was over within ten minutes, nothing more that lying on a bed and rolling your shirt up to expose your stomach.  The staff were extremely friendly and explained the whole procedure to me.  When the scan was finished, I was found to be one of the few to have a large aneurysm.  What all this meant was explained to me in detail, and I was told what would happen next.  Two hours later I was contacted and an appointment set up to visit the hospital two days after that for a pre-op assessment.  This I attended.  Everything was explained to me in great detail and numerous tests made.  I finished the day in the company of my surgeon, who answered any questions or concerns I had, and I was given a likely date for my operation.  I had by now realised how serious a large AAA is and how, if left unattended, it could affect my quality of life.  As I said earlier, my lifestyle was reasonably active, I enjoy the outdoors, walking, and enjoyed my work, with no intention of retiring.  Without my undergoing surgery, all this could cease. 

I decided to go ahead and two days later I presented myself at the hospital and the following day my operation was over.

I am glad to say it was a 100% success. 

Six days after this I was on my way home, still a bit uncomfortable, but nevertheless able to get on with my life and, after a month convalescing, returned to my daily routine. 

I have no doubt my attending the scan when I did saved my life. 

It is so simple, it shows over 98% of men over 65 as not having an aneurysm. 

If asked to attend an AAA Screening Programme scan, please take advantage of this opportunity, no matter how good you feel.  It only takes ten minutes…