Fairfax Radiological Consultants

To Schedule an Appointment Call:
703.698.4488

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening and Repair

What is Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a weak section of an artery wall. These can occur in any portion of the aorta, but the abdomen is the most common location. An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is an aneurysm in the lower part of the aorta, the large artery in the torso.

Pressure from inside the artery causes the weakened area to balloon out beyond the normal width of the blood vessel. Over time, the weakened area can continue to expand. Interventional radiologists are experts in vascular diagnosis and imaging interpretation and are an integral part of the team for their treatment.

What are the symptoms?

Many people show no symptoms and do not know they have an aortic aneurysm until it ruptures, earning AAA the name “silent killer.” If symptoms do occur, you may experience pain in the groin, abdomen, chest, back or near the naval. Sometimes, AAA causes a pulsing sensation like a heartbeat in the abdomen. An extremely sharp and severe pain may indicate rupture, requiring emergency medical treatment.  Blood clots can also develop in the aneurysm, which can break off, travel and block the arteries to the legs resulting in loss of blood supply to the limb.

Other medical conditions can cause similar symptoms. Always consult your doctor to be sure.

Am I at risk?

While exact cause of Abdominal aortic Aneurysms is not fully known, multiple risk factors are identified.  Among the strongest is a long, continued history of smoking.  Being male above the age of 60, the presence of Peripheral Arterial Disease (plaque build-up in the blood vessels), as well as family history are all felt to play a role.  While the risk of having an aortic aneurysm is much higher in males, the risk of rupture appears to be higher in women.    

Artboard UP TO OF MALES 5.5% OVER OF FEMALES 1.1% Age 65+ May Have Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms AAA02 OF MALES 1.9% OF FEMALES 5.7% Have An Increased Risk of Rupture When Going Unscreened AAA03 HAVE A 6 cm ANEURYSMS THAT ARE 10-20% Annual Risk of Rupture

How are Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms diagnosed?

A medical history and physical exam will be conducted by your interventional radiologist. Screening of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms is recommended in patients with the appropriate risk factors. 

Screening is typically performed with an ultrasound which is used to evaluate the abdomen, specifically the aorta and selected branches. If further evaluation is needed for a suspected abnormality, a CT or MRI can be pursued at the discretion of your interventional radiologist.

What are my treatment options?

It is important to note that while you may have an abdominal aortic aneurysm, the presence of an aneurysm alone does not mean it needs to be treated. The management of an aneurysm is primarily dependent on its size. Other factors would include new symptoms, and rapid growth.

There are numerous management options for AAA which range from conservative monitoring to surgery. 

Part of your care for an abdominal aortic aneurysm includes:

  • Managing risk factors. This includes stopping smoking and increasing exercise. 
  • Medicine. This includes managing cholesterol, blood pressure, and cardiac risk factors. 
  • Monitoring.  Ultrasound, and occasionally a more invasive exam such as CT scan or MRI will be used routinely to monitor the size of the aneurysm.

Characteristics of your aneurysm will help determine which method of treatment/repair is better.  There are risks and benefits to both approaches, and your interventional radiologist will help guide you through the decision-making process:

  • Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). Unlike open repair, EVAR requires only small incisions in the groin. A CT scan is typically obtained prior to plan the procedure.  The patient is then taken to the angiography lab and using X-ray guidance, the interventional radiologist can repair the aneurysm by inserting the stent or graft inside the aorta.  
  • Open Surgery.  This is performed by a vascular surgeon. To surgically repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm, an incision is made in the abdomen. The surgeon will then exclude the aneurysm by suturing a graft, connecting it from one end of the normal aorta to the other. This “open repair” is considered the surgical standard for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.  However, this approach typically has its own risk profile related to anesthesia and the operation. 

Am I a Candidate for AAA Repair?

Whether a repair is appropriate, and if so what type, is a decision that is arrived upon after careful evaluation of your history and your imaging.  You will have this discussion together with your interventional radiologist.  Not all patients are good candidates for any one option. 

Endovascular Aneurysm Repair

  • Minimally invasive – can be done entirely from the skin with a few small incisions
  • Significantly lower risk of complications and death post-operatively
  • Equivalent success to open repair in correctly chosen patients

  • Not everyone is a good candidate based on the type of aneurysm
  • Requires long term monitoring for life using CT scan or ultrasound
  • Can result in multiple additional minor angiographic procedures to achieve complete success

Open Surgical Repair

  • Considered the gold standard for aneurysm repair and is extremely durable long-term
  • Requires few, if any, repeat long-term procedures and typically does not need yearly CT scan for monitoring
  • Aneurysm type does not exclude patient from repair

  • Large operation with midline incision
  • Increased risk of short-term complications and death
  • Requires general anesthesia

Would you like to talk with one of our interventional radiologists about the diagnosis of AAA or which treatment is best suited for you?

We will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. 

Why Choose Fairfax Vascular Center?

Over 100 years of combined clinical experience.

Fairfax Vascular Center is one of the largest, long-established interventional radiology practices with more than 100 years of combined clinical experience.

Specialize in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening and Repair (AAA).

Our interventional radiologists have the largest collective experience in the region on endovascular repair of aneurysms ranging from simple to highly complex.  As a practice we have access to the latest devices and technology. 

Dedicated to helping you through your treatment journey.

Our physicians are available 24/7 to ensure you are well taken care of from the time of consultation through your treatment and follow up.

State of the art imaging with subspecialty trained physicians.

Fairfax Vascular Center is part of Fairfax Radiological Centers, the largest and oldest diagnostic radiology group in the metro DC and surrounding region, allowing us to provide our patients with leading edge-imaging technologies and the most experienced diagnostic and interventional radiologists with subspeciality training.

Team approach to care.

We firmly believe that multidisciplinary care is in the best interest of our patients and closely partner with our vascular surgery team to make sure that your care is in the best hands and you gain the best possible outcome.  

Common Questions

  • Why would my physician recommend an AAA procedure?

    Your physician may recommend AAA screening if you have a small abdominal aortic aneurysm and there are no symptoms present.  An AAA repair will be recommended if the abdominal aortic aneurysm is large or growing and symptoms are present.

  • How does an AAA procedure work?

    During this procedure small incisions are made in the groin and using X-ray guidance, the interventional radiologist can repair the aneurysm by inserting the stent or graft inside the aorta. 

  • What do I need to do before an AAA procedure?

    You will be given detailed instructions by our staff before your procedure. In general, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. This includes breath mints, gum and tobacco. Patients should notify staff if they are diabetic, taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) or allergic to anesthesia. Be sure to bring your insurance card, photo ID and list of current medications (dose and frequency).

  • What will I feel during an AAA procedure?

    You may feel a slight sting when the needle is inserted for the IV line and the anesthesia. You will feel relaxed and sleepy during the procedure. 

  • What should I expect after an AAA procedure?

    Immediately after recovery from the stent grafting procedure, you may be required to lay flat for four to six hours.. Some mild discomfort may be felt at the incision sites. This usually resolves in two days. Side effects may include swelling of the groin area, numbness of the legs, nausea, vomiting, leg pain or throbbing, lack of appetite, fever and/or absence of bowel movement for one to three days.

    If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately: Pain, numbness, coldness or weakness in the legs or buttocks, back, chest, abdominal or groin pain, dizziness, fainting, rapid heartbeat, or sudden weakness.
     

  • How can I schedule an AAA procedure with Fairfax Vascular Center?

    You can schedule an appointment by calling 703.698.4475 Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.

  • When are appointments offered for AAA procedures?

    Appointments are available at Fairfax Vascular Center Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. Learn more information about this location.

Our Physicians

Paul Reha Butros, M.D.

Paul Reha Butros, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Body Imaging
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Paul Reha Butros, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Body Imaging
Medical School

Baskent University School of Medicine
Completed 2005

Residency

Detroit Medical Center - Wayne State University
Completed 2012

Fellowship

Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Completed 2014

Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute
Completed 2015

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology - Diplomate
2012

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American College of Radiology
American Medical Association
American Roentgen Ray Society
Medical Society of Virginia
Radiology Society of North America
Society of Interventional Radiology

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Alain T. Drooz, M.D.

Alain T. Drooz, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Read more

Alain T. Drooz, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Medical School

University of North Carolina

Residency

New York University Medical Center
Completed 1988

Fellowship

New York University Medical Center
Body Imaging
Completed 1989

New York University Medical Center
Interventional Radiology
Completed 1990

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology
1989

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American College of Radiology
Radiological Society of North America
Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology
Society of Vascular Medicine and Biology - Fellow
Fairfax County Medical Society

Accolades

Top Doctor
Washingtonian Magazine
Northern Virginia Magazine

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Aaron R. DuCoffe, M.D.

Aaron R. DuCoffe, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Body Imaging
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Read more

Aaron R. DuCoffe, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Body Imaging
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Medical School

Emory University School of Medicine 
Completed 2013

Residency

University of Florida College of Medicine
Orthopaedic Surgery
Completed 2014

Georgetown University Medical Center
Diagnostic Radiology
Completed 2019

Fellowship

United States Department of Health and Human Services 
Healthcare Policy/Quality - Opioid Safety
Completed 2015

Emory University School of Medicine 
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Completed 2020

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology 
Board Eligible 2021
Completed 2018

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Radiology Society of North America
Society of Interventional Radiology 
American College of Radiology
Reviewer for Pain Medicine
National Ski Patrol

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Allen E. Joseph, M.D.

Allen E. Joseph, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Body Imaging
Read more

Allen E. Joseph, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Body Imaging
Medical School

Boston University School of Medicine
Completed 1984

Residency

Northwestern University Hospitals
Diagnostic Radiology
Completed 1989

Fellowship

Northwestern University Hospitals
Angiography, Visceral Imaging and Interventional Radiology
Completed 1990

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology, 1989
Vascular and Interventional Radiology, 1998

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Roentgen Ray Society
Radiological Society of North America
American College of Radiology
Society of Cardiovascular and
Interventional Radiology
American Medical Association
Fairfax County Medical Society
Chesapeake Interventional Radiology 
Society

Accolades

Top Doctor
Arlingtonian Magazine
Northern Virginia Magazine
Washingtonian Magazine

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Michael G. Karnaze, M.D.

Michael G. Karnaze, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Read more

Michael G. Karnaze, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Medical School

University of Kansas School of Medicine
Completed 1982

Residency

Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology
Completed 1987

Fellowship

Alexandria Hospital
Interventional Radiology
Completed 1988

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology
Diagnostic Radiology 1987
Interventional Radiology 1995

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology
Chesapeake Interventional Radiology Society (President 1996)
American Heart Association
American College of Radiology
Radiology Society of North America
American Roentgen Ray Society

Accolades

Top Doctor 
Washingtonian Magazine
Northern Virginia Magazine

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Hong Lim, M.D.

Hong Lim, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Read more

Hong Lim, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Medical School

University of Medicine & Dentistry
Completed 2001

Residency

University of Medicine & Dentistry
Completed 2006

Fellowship

Baptist Cardiac and Vascular Institute
Completed 2008

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology
2006

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Radiological Society of North America
American College of Radiology
Society of Interventional Radiology

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David J. Spinosa, M.D.

David J. Spinosa, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Read more

David J. Spinosa, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Medical School

Tufts University School of Medicine
Completed 1984

Residency

Georgetown University Hospital
Radiology
Completed 1992

New England Deaconess Hospital
Surgery
Completed 1987

Fellowship

University of Virginia
Angiography and Interventional Radiology
Completed 1993

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology
Radiology - 1992
Angiography and Interventional Radiology - 1995

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Society of Interventional Radiologists
American College of Radiology

Accolades

Top Doctor
Washingtonian Magazine
Northern Virginia Magazine

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Mustafa M. Syed, D.O.

Mustafa M. Syed, D.O.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Read more

Mustafa M. Syed, D.O.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Medical School

New York College of Osteopathic Medicine

Completed 2011

Residency

Mount Sinai West Hospital Center 

Completed 2016

Fellowship

Mount Sinai Hospital, Vascular and Interventional Radiology

Completed 2017

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology, 2017

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Radiological Society of North America

American College of Radiology

American Board of Radiology

Society of Interventional Radiology

 

 

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Jay D. Varma, M.D.

Jay D. Varma, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Read more

Jay D. Varma, M.D.

Joined Practice:
Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Medical School

University of Maryland
Completed 1996

Residency

Boston University Medical Center
Completed 2001

Fellowship

Harvard Medical School
Completed 2002

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology
Radiology - 2001
Interventional Radiology - 2003

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Cardiovascular and Interventional Society of Europe
Chesapeake Interventional Radiology Society 
Medical Society of the District of Columbia
Society of Interventional Radiology
American Roentgen Ray Society
Radiological Society of North America

Accolades

Top Doctor
Washingtonian Magazine
Northern Virginia Magazine

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Available at the following location

Fairfax Radiology Vascular Center

Fairfax Radiology Vascular Center

8505 Arlington Boulevard
Suite 400
Fairfax, VA 22031
United States

Tel
703.698.4475
Fax
703.573.4237

Request a Telephone Consultation

Please provide the following information and one of our physicians or experienced staff members will call you back shortly.

If you need an immediate appointment, please call 703.698.4475.