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Thames Valley AAA Screening Programme

The Thames Valley AAA Screening Programme is part of the National AAA Screening Programme (NAAASP), inviting men for routine AAA screening in their 65th year.

Men over 65 who have not been screened are encouraged to contact us to self-refer into the programme.

Our team covers Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire as part of the Thames Valley Vascular Network (TVVN) screening around 12,000 people per year. We travel to over 50 locations across the network area to provide screening in the community. However, we may only visit some sites a few times a year. We cannot attend every GP practice as they do not all provide clinic room access.

The aorta is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to your body; it runs from your heart through your chest and abdomen. An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurs when the walls of the aorta weaken and expand. As the wall of the aorta stretches, it becomes weaker and can rupture, causing internal bleeding. If you have an AAA, you will not usually notice any symptoms or be aware you have one.

Around 85 out of 100 people die when an aneurysm bursts. The National AAA Screening Programme was developed to detect aneurysms early so we can monitor and treat them, aiming to reduce the number of deaths caused by AAA by up to 50 percent.

One in 70 men scanned is found to have an AAA. Risk factors for this condition include smoking, high blood pressure or close family history. Men are six times more likely to have an aneurysm than women - currently screening is not routinely offered to women, however their GP may wish to refer them for imaging if they have significant risk factors.

What screening involves

Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening - NHS website

We perform a pain-free ultrasound scan (the same type offered during pregnancy); some gel on the skin, and a probe run over your tummy. We will normally give you the result at your appointment and send a copy to your GP. The appointment should last no more than 10-15 minutes.

If we find an aneurysm, we will bring you on to our Surveillance Programme to monitor your aneurysm with regular scans and invite you to an appointment with a Vascular Nurse Specialist.

Patients with a small aneurysm (3cm - 4.4cm wide) will scanned annually; those with a medium aneurysm (4.5 - 5.4cm wide) are scanned every three months.

Those with an aneurysm 5.5cm or bigger (1 in 1,000) will be referred to have an appointment with one of our Vascular Consultants specialist team to discuss treatment options.

Clinic appointments

Clinics run from 9.40am to 4.00pm and we offer Saturday appointments. If you cannot attend your appointment please contact us to re-schedule.

AAA Screening Locations (pdf, 146 KB)

If you have had other scans recently, please contact us - your other scans may not have covered the section of abdomen concerned so we need to check this.

Our team

Clinical Lead

  • Photo not supplied
    Jeremy Perkins

Screeners

We also have two trainee screening technicians who you may see in our clinics.

  • Trisha Bellinger
    Trisha Bellinger
  • Lesley Chick
    Lesley Chick
  • Photo not supplied
    Emma-Jane Simons
  • Joanna Wojcik
    Joanna Wojcik
  • Photo not supplied
    Karen Hickey
  • Photo not supplied
    Ben Pooley

Vascular Nurse Practitioners

  • Photo not supplied
    Jenny Buisan
  • Pam Davis
    Pam Davis
  • Photo not supplied
    Tiina Winson

Programme Manager

  • Photo not supplied
    Carla Goddard

Administration

  • Tracey Mitchell
    Tracey Mitchell
  • Photo not supplied
    Holly Mitchell

Find us and contact us

General enquiries / booking appointments

Tel: 01865 572 636
Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm

Email: thamesvalley.aaa@nhs.net

Inpatient / Pre-op queries only

Ward 6A, John Radcliffe Hospital

Tel: 01865 221802

Last reviewed:21 November 2022