4cm ascending aorta aneurysm 53yrs

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Hello there, 

Im 53 yr female and I have just been diagnosed with a thoracic ascending aortic aneurysm of 4cm, still in shock as I never expected it, as I'm not a smoker, neither a drinker, doesn't run in the family. I have to follow up and check if it will grow etc. In 6months. I'm in a lot if stress. I would be so thankful if you all can provide some additional information.  First question is: is there any possibility that it will never grow? Is it possible to stay 4cm for ever? According to my dr that's possible. On my search all most all aneurysms are growing! Don't know what to think😳?

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  • Posted

    Hello,

    I was diagnosed with the same condition four years ago when I was 64. Like you, I was in such shock because I only went for an echo as I had been having some irregular beats. I think I overreacted at the time because I was a nurse and thought of the worst case outcome. I had a follow up CT scan and then an MRI. Both showed the aneurysm to be 4.1 whereas the echo had stated 4.6. I had six month tests for a year and then yearly. So far it has not grown but they have discovered that I have a bicuspid aortic valve which often goes with the condition. At the last echo, the senior technician thought that I probably will never need surgery as the valve seems to be coping fairly well. I have stopped worrying about it now because the anxiety was taking over my life and i suddenly realised that but for the test I would never have known anyway. However I am glad that it was found, because I get tested regularly and if it got worse action would be taken. I am a bit careful lifting things though, but that is probably because of my age! The cardiologist said that it is in the nature of aneurysms to grow but it could remain the same for years. I hope yours remains within limits and good luck.

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    • Posted

      Oh, thank you so much lovely you've given me some hope, I've asked cardiologist if the echocardiogram is accurate and if I might need to do some MRI or CT but he said no, this is accurate. I'm thinking of getting a second opinion soon though. May I ask you what kind of medicines are you taking? I've ask dr if I should've considered taking beta blockers for preventing it of growing but he said no, I don't need this. He has prescribed 5mg Zestril though every morning. My blood pressure  is normal, DIA is a bit higher, around 80ish, cholesterol on the edge, around 205 if I remember good. I know this since a week ago and I'm in deep depression, I feel like nothing can be like yesterday any more since I didn't know and I was happy. Now all the time I'm on internet searching and looking in to videos with TAA surgeries and Im freaking out😩 The difference though is that you are now 68 yrs and yours TAA might not growing any more, I'm still 53😳 Let's hope for the best, thanks again😌

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I believe the CT scan is considered the most accurate. I had an MRI because I was getting some chest pain (found to be not connected) and through that they found the bicuspid valve. I am not on any medicines at all. My blood pressure is low anyway so not needed. My cholesterol is about 6 but nobody has suggested statins and I am happy with that. I agree about you being younger but neither of us know how long the aneurysm has been there and might have been there for years, but as you say your has more potential years to grow. I had a private appointment with a cardiologist and asked him lots of questions and it put my mind at rest a bit. I find when I do have an appointment with him it is very rushed so it was worth the money. I am in the UK by the way. It seems very different in the USA. Best wishes and try not to worry.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ana62

    I had surgery 5/20/16 for a TAA repair. It was found 8 yrs ago, at that time 4.6. I changed my activities at the advice of my doctor, which I think prolonged the need for surgery. I am 56 yrs, no other health issues. I had an echo and maintain yearly and a CT scan every 6mos. It took 8yrs for it to start growing but once it started, it grew quickly. Like you, I was terrified when it was found. Couldn't understand where it came from. You are off to a good start by searching for information on the subject. It will be fine.

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    • Posted

      My earlier post was supposed to say I had a ECHO and MRI yearly.

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    • Posted

      hello Gigi, thank you so much for your msg. Wow I suppose it's a very big surgery! Well done! God bless you are over it now, what was your experience? Are you ok now? Also after operation do you have to take daily medicines for life? Do you feel the same as before surgery? I hope you don't mind telling me where did you have your surgery done? I'm a European citizen living I the United Arab Emirates in Dubai at the moment and this is not a surgery someone would like to do in Dubai. Any suggestions of a hospital in Europe where they do a lot of these kind of surgeries with a lot of experience😰I'm terrified I want to collect all good information, that gives me more hope and confidence.

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    • Posted

      Sorry, it took a minute to respond but I haven't been feeling well. I am in the US.. My surgery was in a veterans hospital. The initial surgery itself was interesting and the recovery process is too. The only meds were for pain, no meds for life. I felt fine before the surgery but my energy level is down, I get tired rather quickly. I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have, if it well help..

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  • Posted

    Hi ana62.

    Have bicuspid valve and thoracic aneurysm also . I am 50. Was 48 when I was diagnosed with both. An unrelated infection caused a few missed beats which the doctor decided should be checked with an echo just because I was in hospital anyway. Like you it took a while to adjust to the fright of it all. I did go to the bother of trawling through old medical records and I found an echo which had been done when I was 31 that showed widening of 3.2 cms. Nobody used the word aneurysm or even mentioned it to me at the time. Pity because I wouldn't have taken up a job which required me to lift as much. Nonetheless I have stopped fussing over it and it hasn't grown anymore. I guess delivering and carrying 2 very large babies in my late 30s is when it may have grown last. I am hoping if I can hang out for a few more years they will have developed a stent to fix it without the requirement for open heart surgery like they have for the lower down ones, that would be good. My consultant tells me they are well on the way. The bicuspid bit is genetic it seems. I am only 5ft 2 which apparently is another risk factor for early rupture too. It will need surgery coming closer to 5cms. I am very well and keep fit in case I need it done. To be honest I don't think about it too much anymore. I need to live and I know it upset the whole household in the early days. Stay well and hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      HI Moreen, thank you so much for taking the effort to answer to my msg. It helps though when realize I'm not the only one. The question is: is it enough to see a cardiologist or I should considering see a vascular surgeon as well? You dint mention how big is your aneurysm at the moment? Thanks again

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    • Posted

      My aneurysm is 4.2 cms for the last 2 years. No change. Only have mri once a year now. I do see a consultant surgeon as opposed to a cardiologist. This was my own decision because I reckon if I need it done at some point I would like to know who was doing it in advance and be sure I had confidence in that person ...and I am very happy I have found the right person. My next mri is due in October and he has told me to phone him first. If there is no change I won't need the expense of the appointment.

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    • Posted

      HI Moreen, are you living in Europe? I need to have also some good addresses to have in case and also to visit beforehand. 
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  • Posted

    The Heart Hospital, London, a branch of University College Hospital, is known to be one of the best in Europe. I recently had by-pass surgery there. I had been seen in a large local hospital and asked the consultant why the op could not be done there- she said, tactfully, "it would be in your best interests to go to the Heart Hosp.". I only found out it's reputation much later.

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    • Posted

      Hello Sonia, thank you so much for the information, I'll keep this in to my list. I really appreciate your effort, take care

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