An aneurysm is a balloon-like dilation or bulge that occurs in the wall of weakened blood vessels. While they can occur in many arteries in the body, they are most common in the abdominal aorta, a vital blood vessel that supplies blood to your legs. AAA’s that continue to bulge have an increased chance of bursting, leading to an internal hemorrhage and death.
An ultrasound scan of the abdomen is very effective at identifying the presence of an AAA and at measuring its maximal size. Medicare covers AAA screening in males older than 65 who have ever smoked more than 100 cigarettes.