Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Expert Forum
shoud I be alarmed???
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Questions in the Peripheral Arterial Disease forum are answered by Dr. Lee Kirksey, associate professor at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Topics covered include abdominal aortic aneurysm , amputation, arteriovenous fistula, atherectomy, carotid artery surgery , cholesterol , claudication, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) , endovascular aortic stent graft (EVAR), stent placement , stroke prevention, varicose veins , and venous insufficiency .

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shoud I be alarmed???

I saw my cardiologist today for a routine visit.  I am 47 year old female with a history of PVC's, PAC's and IST.  Both the doctor and the nurse noted on the exam that they could feel my aorta pulsating in my abdomen.  They didn't seem too concerned but ordered an abdominal ultrasound that will be performed in five days.  I am a relatively slim person and the cardiologist noted that it is not uncommon to feel this in slim people.  After leaving the doctors office, i began to get concerned that this could be something quite serious.  Do I need to have the ultrasound sooner than five days?  Is it normal to see a pulse in your stomach?  Is all of this something to be alarmed about?  Could a sharp pain in my right side a couple of weeks ago be related?
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Hello
They are correct that it is easier to feel the pulse within the aorta in a thin person. Additionally, it is sometimes easy to actually feel if this pulse is normal or the result of blood vessel enlargement, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). AAA are 5:1 more common in men and very uncommon in women <50.  Statistically speaking, it would be uncomon for you to have an AAA. When I present patients with this type of scenario, I usually try to give them a reasonable expectations for finding a life threatening problem. You might consider calling the doctor or nurse back to see how likely they believe it is that you have an AAA. I think thats completely reasonable. I appreciate that the possibility is weighing heavily on you. perhaps you can have the test moved up. The ultrasound takes 10-15 minutes. Good luck
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Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
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