The aorta carries blood, rich in oxygen, from the heart. The aorta originates at the heart and extends down through the chest cavity into the abdominal cavity, where it divides just above the umbilicus or navel to form the right and lefty Iliac arteries.
Ultrasound is a painless and effective means of examining the Aorta, using high frequency sound waves, including Doppler ultrasound to assess both the structure of the lower aorta and the blood flow within the artery. Any large dilation (aneurysm) of the aorta is detailed, as well as any abnormalities of the internal walls.
You will not need to change for this examination. You will lie on you back and be asked to lift your shirt or top to the level of the chest. A small quantity of warm gel will be applied to the skin of your abdomen (tummy), to enable the ultrasound to penetrate the skin layer.
The sonographer will gently move the probe over this area during the assessment of the aorta, recording images of the aorta as she proceeds.