How often do you get scanned after your operation?

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It seems that I'm getting the run around from my Cardio dr, All I want is to get a piece of mind to know if I'm enlarging again or not?  

I've asked for a scan and she just responds with questions about pains or discomfort.

I think it should be standard to be checked after 6mo and every year after that.

But I guess that is asking too much. I'm not too happy about this, should I seek a new Cardio Dr?  I know she is getting advice from a top Aortic surgeon in the area, but I don't know if she follows his suggestions.   

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  • Posted

    I have a 4.8 centimeter aneurysm and the cardiologist that first discovered I acted like it was no big deal and to come back in 6 months. I went to another well known cardiologist and he wanted to do open heart surgery the next week even though he told me I wasn't in the high risk zone for dissection. I'm trying to get another opinion and see what he says before I make a decision. Open heart surgery is pretty risky with the chance of getting a blood clot or infection. It's almost like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea! Mentally straining!

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    • Posted

      Hi Gloria, the doctors here like to do surgery when the aneurysm is between 4.7 and 5.2cm, so you are right at the recommended stage. My aneurysm is an aortic root aneurysm and when diagnosed in March was 5.7cm. I am still waiting for surgery. Just take care of yourself. No heavy lifting, and if you feel tired or out of breath...stop. Rest.
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  • Posted

    I had a type A and type B aortic dissection 1 year ago. The surgeon had me do a chest and abdominal scans soon after I went home from the hospital. My surgeon didn't suggest anything in the way of follow-up scans, nor did my cardiologist or my vascular surgeon. So I researched it on the internet and the consensus was a scan at 6 months, then at one year, then every year after that.

    My surgeon's staff was ready to dismiss me as a patient after a few months (standard procedure they said) but I talked to him a day he agreed to keep seeing me. My cardiologist said that following up on my aorta wasn't his job, and my vascular surgeon was only interested in the aorta south of the heart.

    I really felt like I was falling through the cracks in the system. You may want to insist to your doctor that he do follow up scans.

    "Follow-up examinations with radiologic studies are recommended at 3-month intervals for the first year and every 6 months for the next 2 years. After this, patient follow-up should occur annually"

    “Follow-up

    The risk of further complications is greatest in the first two years after the first event. Many patients receive a baseline MRI before leaving the hospital. At 3, 6, and 12 months, many physicians recommend an MRI to monitor the dissection, even if the patient does not have any symptoms. Afterwards, patients should follow up regularly with a cardiologist, and receive MRI screening every 1 to 2 years. Among other things, patients are followed for signs of dissection progression, redissection, or aneurysm formation"

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    • Posted

      I was also scanned a couple of weeks after surgery, (still in the hospital, 3 wks total) ....I'm curious Timothy, I'm guessing everything was fine after your other scans, so maybe less for me to worry about. I think my first scan was more of evaluating my ribs healing, but maybe they looked at the Aorta too, who knows?

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    • Posted

      All of my scans so far have been good. No new problems with my aorta. I have another scan coming in a few weeks for my 1 year checkup. On the last scan my cardiothoracic surgeon said that my graft (in my aortic root) was looking good. So far, so good!

      Don't worry too much. Your surgeon like did a great job in fixing you up and keeping you alive.

      Even though I say, "don't worry", it doesn't mean I never worry about the my future or worry about what happens if my aorta dissects more/again. I think about it often but try not to think about it too much lest it drive me crazy (crazier?).

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    • Posted

      I don't know if re-dissecting is a thing of the past, but it seems like it's gone & hopefully that era has ended. Nobody wants to be the one to be the reason to advance medical procedures.

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