The Find the AAAnswers Podcast Series provides facts and perspectives about abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) from physicians, industry experts, patients and caregivers. New podcast segments are added regularly, so check back often.

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Podcast #1: What is Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)?

Dr. Thomas Maldonado and Karen Fitzgerald, NP provide listeners with an overview of AAA, explain who is potentially at-risk for the disease, and why it is known as a silent killer.  Additional topics covered in this podcast include the process of an AAA screening, how to discuss AAA with a loved one, and where to turn for more resources.

Dr. Maldonado, a representative of Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society (PVSS), is also Chief of Vascular Surgery at Bellevue Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at NYU School of Medicine.  Nurse Fitzgerald is a member of the Society for Vascular Nursing and Director of Nursing for The Vascular Group, PLLC.

Podcast #2: Perspectives From an AAA Survivor

Carolyn Maczuga, a 73-year old Florida resident, first noticed abdominal pain when she was 62-years old.  As a past smoker with other cardiac problems,  her doctor discovered that she had an AAA.  Carolyn and her doctor monitored the AAA for 10 years with routine ultrasounds and eventually, when the AAA grew to a size that was close to rupture, she sought treatment.  As a retired nurse, Carolyn now spends her time playing with her grandchildren and encourages her five kids to be screened for AAA due to the family history risk-factor.

Podcast #3: A Family Member’s Story

Rich Gabriele, a native of Brooklyn, New York, had never heard of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) until his father passed away from one in August 2010.  At the time of his death, Rich’s father was “in the best shape of his life.”  Now Rich and his family are hoping their story will help inspire others to learn about AAA, assess their risk, and get screened if necessary.  Since his father’s death, Rich’s entire family has been screened for the disease, and thankfully, the screening detected an aneurysm in his uncle – detected in time to be treated.

Podcast #4: Coalition Partners Answer User-Submitted Questions About AAA

Dr. R. Clement Darling, III of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and Dave Parlato of the Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU) answer some of consumers' top questions related to abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).  Listen to this podcast to learn more about testing for AAA, what to expect at a preventive screening, potential causes, family history and the prevalence of AAA.

Dr. Darling is the Director of The Institute for Vascular Health and Disease, Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery and Attending Surgeon at Albany Medical Center Hospital, as well as Professor of Surgery at Albany Medical College.  Mr. Parlato is Chief of Clinical Operations for Midwest Ultrasound in Cincinnati.

Podcast #5: Losing A Parent to AAA: One Daughter's Story

Donna McEvoy is a 33-year-old Toronto resident who lost her father to an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) in June 2010. She describes the night of his rupture as "the most terrifying night of my life." Not even 60-years-old, Donna's father was active, often found playing golf on the weekends with friends. Though a long-time smoker, he didn't experience any other symptoms that would indicate an AAA was present. "I miss my Dad every single day," said Donna. "Not a day has gone by that I don't think of him. Had I known about AAA and that a screening would've prevented this, I would have urged my Dad to have gone so long ago." Now an advocate for AAA awareness and prevention, Donna urges others to learn about the disease, risk factors and screenings.

The stories, views and opinions expressed in these podcasts are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical counsel. You should always talk to your doctor first about diagnosis and treatment options.