Diagnosed with 4.4cm Aneurysm near heart and contemplating surgery

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I thought I'd start a new discussion because I haven't found anything about people who actually HAD the surgery.

Some background:

I'm a 54 year old Female

Fit and very active in the gym/outdoors

Non-smoker

Never Drank any alchohol

I'm just looking for some feedback from people who have had the procedure done.  How long was the recovery?  Any glaring side effects? How long has it been since you have the procedure?

I'm a little nervous about it and really want some reassurance on the subject matter.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I'm a 51 yr old female, who in Feb 2014 had an aortic valve replacement + a 5.2cm aneurysm repaired, I recovered well but slowly but that could be cause I had valve done also, my aneurysm was very bad with very thin patches, doc said it was bad, I wasn't allowed prior to surgery to lift, exert myself in anyway, I would def hav it done as it saved my life. If you hav any other worry's or questions id be happy to help 😊

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    • Posted

      Thank you diane for the response.  Amazing that you got through it successfully!

      How long was the recovery time?  How has the quality of life been after surgery?   And finally how long did the procedure take?

      Thanks so much for answering my questions!

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Thankyou yes I'm glad I came out of it ok.

      My recovery was about 6 -8 wks, then I did 8 wks of cardiac rehabilitation, which I strongly recommend.

      My quality of life is much much better, I do struggle with my mechanical valve (cause it ticks lol) but that side of it shouldn't effect you, I don't really think bout the false bit of aorta that was used to repair aneurysm, I was more worried before op bout that, I do hav to take warfarin for rest of my life but more again for valve. My procedure was bout 6 hrs, I went under bout 8.45am & woke up bout 7pm, I was in intensive care for 2 days, had op on a Tues n went home following Monday 😊

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  • Posted

    Hi. I am a 54 year old male.I had a thoracic aortic aneurysm and had the replacement surgery on September 12, 2014. Before you even think about it you need to talk to a very good cardio-thoracic surgeon who has done a lot of these procedures. You definitely don't want the B team. My older brother (by one year) is at 4.6 cm and they are going to monitor him by CT scan every 3 to 6 months. If you aren't yet at 5 cm and there are no other complications then you probably don't want to be thinking about surgery yet. Having said that I can say the recovery wasn't as bad as I expected. I was in the hospital for one week and mainly just felt very weak. A 3 day old kitten could have beat me up for the first couple of days. I could go into a lot more detail but that was the main thing. The chest pain wasn't too bad and drugs kept that knocked down. More annoying were the tubes I had stuck in me, but as those came out things got better. It took about a month to feel OK walking around. By 3 months I felt pretty good. After 6 months almost normal. And now I don't think abouy it that much. You are restricted to lifting around 10 pounds after the surgery which is all I wanted to lift back then. If I can tell you anything else just ask.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing!  Any dietary restrictions that you are on now?  Is there a specific diet after such a procedure?
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  • Posted

    Hiya,

    I had a 5.8 aneurysm on my aortic arch at the top of my heart.  Also had a very badly damaged valve.  I had the op on 16th december last year.  I had no symptoms prior to operation the aneurysm was found by accident during a CT scan for something else.  Like you I was anxious about the operation, worried that I was going in feeling healthy and would come out an invalid. 

    On the morning I went down I had a premed which made me very sleepy and I only vaguely remember the trip to the theatre.  Operation took 8 hours and although I am told I was drinking and eating the same day I don't remember anything at all until 48 hours later when I woke up properly.  I had expected to be in a lot of pain but really it wasn't that bad.  My ribs didn't hurt, the scar was sore though and I did feel very 'out of it'.  I was wobbly on my legs too.  I had to walk alot to be allowed home so I did, getting home was my main priority - i wanted my familiar surroundings.  I would suggest to anyone going into hospital to take a familiar fluffy blanket for comfort,  the one sheet and cellular rough blanket doesn't cut it!  I had the op 8am Tuesday and I was home by teatime on the Sunday.  Once home I needed to rest alot, I got very tired quickly, even just sitting up, but I kept walking and resting and after couple of weeks I felt much more like myself.  Sleeping can be difficult though and if you have a reclining chair I would suggest sleeping in that for a few weeks.  I think my biggest problem was getting out of bed.  After 6 weeks I was pretty much back to normal bar heavy lifting.  Its 6 months now, my scar is still very red looking but its the dissolvable stiches, they take ages and are like a thin rope down the middle of your chest.  The cut is about 8 inches and then there are 2 more 1 inch horizontal cuts 4 inches below for the drainage tubes.  Apart from the scar which is sore I can do everything I used too, lift the grandchildren, run upstairs, just back to normal.  I would definately have this done again should the need arise and I wouldn't worry so much a second time!

    I hope this has put your mind at rest, its major surgery but not really major pain.

    Not sure where in the world you are which I guess would make a difference to the type of care you get, I am in the UK.

    Good luck

    Gail

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  • Posted

    I don't know about the UK, but I live north of Dallas Texas and had my surgery at the Baylor Heart Hospital, Plano Texas. I packed a lot for my stay and hardly used any of it. They had everything I needed. One thing to consider is you may cough a lot after surgery, I did. This hurts. My hospital gave me a heart shaped pillow that I could hug to my chest when I coughed and it helped a lot. I read the Cleveland Clinic uses Teddy Bears for this and one of my nurses said they once used them also. She said the problem was that they had plastiv noses. Patients would grab them put the nose on their scar, cough, and suffer unpleasant after effects. So if your hospital doesn't provide this you might bring a firm throw sized pillow without any buttons or heavy stitches for this purpose. My hospital didn't do intensive care. They took me straight to the room I stayed in the next week and brought everything I neede,, monitors, X-ray machines, the works, to me. My surgery lasted about 6 hours. I was awake in my room soon after and clearly remember playing charades with my brother to get them to wipe my eyes so I could see better, lay me down flatter etc. because of a tracheal intubation tube they left in for about 30 minutes. I remember the rest of that evening until I went back to sleep that night, so I was in no way "out of it" after the surgery, Mine was a pretty straight foreward 5.6 thoracic aneurysm not affecting the root, valve or arch.
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    • Posted

      Thank You Danno for your response.  I'm in Canada so we do have free healthcare (Thankfully).

      How long does the artifical valve/tube last or how often does it need replacing (if ever)?

       

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  • Posted

    I don't know about valves. My aorta replacement is I believe called a Dacron gel weave. They do make one with a valve already attached, or so my doctor said. He told me I should expect to live my normal life span now, but there is no evidence that it will last that long, assuming I live into my 80's or 90's. I saw on the internet that somebody is healthty with a Dacron graft after 18 years and that's about as long as they've been using them. I'm hoping they are better now and the surgery has been refined so that I can expect to do better. Never know for sure though.
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  • Posted

    Hi , I had an aortic valve replacement and 5cms of route replacement 7yrs ago. I have TIA's but take warfarin every day. but without this surgery I would would have died so thankful they could help me. 
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    • Posted

      That's great to hear Sarah!  Any dietary restrictions as a result of the procedure?  Is life truly "back to normal??
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  • Posted

    About the diet question: Niether my surgeon or cardiologist said anything about diet. Before the surgery they made me have a cardiac catheterization and that showed no problems with my heart or other arteries. I originally was being treated and having tests for high blood pressure when they found the aneurysm so my GP wants me to lose some weight and restrict sodium but that's about it. Before they found the aneurysm my good cholesteral was a little low and my bad cholesteral was a little high, not by much, and he thought losing some weight and exercising would take care of it. The day I checked out of the hospital I guess my cholesteral was a little off so they put me on 20 mg of simvistatin, I think just so they could get me out the door. My GP dropped that to 10 mg and my last tests were good so he said next time I'm in he'll probably let me drop it. I'm basically heathly and most others I see here have more complications than I do, so I'm guessing diet is more related to circumstances. Since a lot of aortic aneurysm are genetic, as is probably the case with me since one of my brothers has issues with it, I don't think diet really enters into it.
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  • Posted

    Hi Adam-

      I am in the UK  and 44 years old,and just had surgery 2 weeks and one day ago, to replace my BAV with a mechanical valve, and repare a 5.1 cm aneurysm above my heart. There were some minor issues with my surgery and recovery, but I was out and home 6 days later, and I have been feeling pretty good. It's hard to keep me town. I have been for my INR levels once already, and will go agan today, and they are staying fairly level, with only minor adjustments needed so far. 

    I was resonably fit,  mostly off the cigs, and on an e-cig (off that now too) and was a ligh drinker before. 

    The experience of surgery and recovery has been way better than I immagined, but I kept a positive outlook from the moment I was disgnosed. I was even up walking around the ward, days after my surgery, encouraging others to get welll too. Good luck with yours, and keep your chin up. x

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  • Posted

    Hi!

    I, too am from Canada.  I had an aortic, abdominal aneurysm repair done last December.  The surgery went very well.  I was in ICU for a day and a half and I don't remember much about ICU other than my voice was very, very squeaky.   My hospital stay was 7 days.  Initially, there were dietary restrictions.  For the first week or so I was on a liquid only diet. Now, I can eat whatever I choose.  I coughed  constantanly and my voice was very weak for about 3 months after the surgery.  I do not have to take any medication.  I am very grateful to have had the surgery.  The aneurysm was 5.5 at the time of the repair.  I wish you all the best and and am happy to answer any questions you may have. 

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