Surgery plays pioneering role

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AN Ackworth surgery is leading the way with a new hi-tech screening service for men aged 65 and over.

College Lane Surgery is the first in the Wakefield district to offer abdominal aortic aneurysm – AAA – screening, which can identify people at risk of a potentially fatal problem.

Members of the Leeds AAA screening team visited the surgery last week to carry out the first test on College Lane patient and former Mayor of Wakefield, Alan Garbutt.

The test involves an ultrasound examination of a major blood vessel, the aorta, which can stretch and form a “balloon” – the AAA.

This may burst and cause fatal internal bleeding, with no prior symptoms. It is most common in older men, though women are rarely affected.

Ultrasound screening can detect a potential AAA at an early stage, so it can be monitored and treated to minimise the threat of bursting, which is fatal in almost nine out of ten cases.

College Lane GP Dr Liz Moulton, was involved in developing and implementing the nationwide programme.

She said: “I am delighted that this important screening programme is now up and running – it will undoubtedly save lives.”

Screening is by invitation and will be available at more GP surgeries in the coming months.

Wakefield PCT has asked GPs to host the sessions so they are available as close as possible to people’s homes.