Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine's Center for Aortic Disease is set to host a free abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) ultrasound screening event on Saturday, November 6. The event will take place at Loyola University Medical Center in the Center for Heart and Vascular Medicine (2160 S. First Ave., Maywood, IL) from 8 am to noon.

Appointments are available to those over 50. Those over 55 with a family history of aneurysms and those over 65 who have ever smoked are especially encouraged to participate. Registration is required and appointments are limited. Those interested in participating should call 833-554-2204.

AAA is a silent killer, affecting approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. each year. According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, a ruptured AAA is the 15th leading cause of death in the United States, and the 10th leading cause of death in men older than 55.

An AAA is a bulge in the wall of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. The aorta originates at the heart and extends down to the abdomen.

"This screening event allows us to screen for and detect aortic aneurysms before they rupture and cause death from bleeding. The noninvasive ultrasound test is the best way to screen for an abdominal aortic aneurysm and measure its size," said Carlos F. Bechara, MD DFSVS, co-director of Loyola Medicine's Center for Aortic Disease.

The biggest risk factors for AAA include a history of smoking, high blood pressure/cholesterol, a family history of AAA, hardening of the arteries and gender, with males at highest risk. Some types of inflammation can cause weakening of the aortic artery wall, leading to AAA. Artery wall tears, infection and congenital connective tissue disorders are also linked.

Identifying aneurysms when they are small allows physicians to monitor them over time and repair once it becomes large enough to pose significant risk of rupture. Depending on the patient's anatomy, the aneurysm can be repaired with a minimally invasive technique or open surgery.

Aneurysms expand slowly over years and typically cause no symptoms until a rupture occurs. The size of the normal abdominal aorta is less than 2 centimeters. Once an AAA reaches approximately 5 centimeters in diameter or more, repair is recommended. More than 10,000 people in the United States die each year from undiagnosed AAAs.

Loyola Medicine's Center for Aortic Disease provides comprehensive care to patients and genetic testing for patients at risk for complex aortic disease. To learn more about Loyola Medicine and the Center for Aortic Disease, visit




About Loyola Medicine

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a nationally ranked academic, quaternary care system based in Chicago's western suburbs. The three-hospital system includes Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and MacNeal Hospital, as well as convenient locations offering primary care, specialty care and immediate care services from more than 1,800 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. & Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its academic affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with the newly renovated Judd A. Weinberg Emergency Department, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research facility at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center. MacNeal is a 374-licensed-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced medical, surgical and psychiatric services, acute rehabilitation, an inpatient skilled nursing facility and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. Loyola Medical Group, a team of primary and specialty care physicians, offers care at over 15 Chicago-area locations. For more information, visit You can also follow Loyola Medicine on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.


About Trinity Health

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 100 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities, and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.8 billion and assets of $30.5 billion, the organization returns $1.3 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 123,000 colleagues, including 6,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services — ranked by number of visits — in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit You can also follow Trinity Health on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.