What is an aortic ultrasound?

An ultrasound of the aorta, often referred to an abdominal aortic ultrasound is a non-invasive, painless test that uses high-frequency sound waves to view the aorta, the main blood vessel leading away from the heart. The ultrasound is also able to capture video in real time.

Why is an aortic ultrasound done?

Your doctor may recommend that you have an aortic ultrasound if you're at risk of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. A one-time abdominal aortic ultrasound screening is recommended for men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetimes.  It is not recommended for women to receive an aortic ultrasound as a screening for preventative measures.

What to expect during procedure

A typical ultrasound exam is painless and takes about 30 minutes to complete. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for the procedure.
Typically, an ultrasound is performed by a specially trained technician. During the exam, you lie on your back on an examination table and a small amount of warm gel is applied to your abdomen. The technician will guide an instrument over the site for the test.

What to expect after the procedure

After your abdominal ultrasound, you may leave the office. At a later time.  your healthcare provider will receive the results of your test and will discuss the results with you.  if no aneurysm or other problems are found, your doctor will not recommend any additional screenings. If a problem is found, your doctor will discuss the need for any further tests and your treatment options with you.

Common conditions that could require an aortic ultrasound

  • Aortic Abdominal Aneurysm

Find a doctor near you

Mercy Health locations that can treat you