Skip to main content

This site is best viewed with a modern browser. You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.

Thames Valley AAA Screening Programme

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.

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 ruptures. The National AAA Screening Programme was developed to detect aneurysms early so they can be monitored and treated, aiming to reduce the number of deaths caused by AAA.

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, AAA screening is not routinely offered to women. However, GPs may wish to refer women with significant risk factors to a hospital vascular unit for imaging, rather than the 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 over 12,000 people per year. We travel to over 50 select locations across the network area to provide screening in the community. We visit each site with varying frequency from monthly to quarterly within the screening year.

What screening involves

Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening - NHS website

We perform an 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 will be scanned annually; those with a medium aneurysm 4.5cm - 5.4cm are scanned every three months.

Those with an aneurysm 5.5cm or bigger 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.

Thames Valley AAA Screening Clinic Locations (pdf, 143 KB)

If you have had other scans recently, please let us know. We will try to locate your images and see if your abdominal aorta can be assessed.

Our team

Our team consists of:

  • Screening Technicians
  • Trainees
  • Programme Administrators
  • Vascular Nurse Practitioners.

The Screening Technicians and Trainees manage the community clinics and carry out the abdominal ultrasound during the screening appointment.

Our Administrators manage all programme appointments and occasionally coordinate community clinics.

Our Vascular Nurse Practitioners can provide assessments and advice via appointments in person or by telephone.

Find us and contact us

General enquiries / booking appointments

Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm

Tel: 01865 572636


Clinical Lead: Jeremy Perkins

Programme Manager: Kwun-Ye Chu

Inpatient / Pre-op queries only

Ward 6A, John Radcliffe Hospital

Tel: 01865 221802

Last reviewed:03 October 2023