Just found out I have an aorta ascending aneurysm that's 4.8 centimeters. The cardiologist wants me

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I'm a 64 year old female that just found out I have a 4.8 centimeter aorta ascending anuerysm. The cardiologist wants me to come back in 6 months but I'm scared and want to get a second opinion.

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  • Posted

    Gloria,

    ...try not to worry about the aneurysm and focus on less salt (watch that sodium intake), less junk food sugar, & stay away from food that is bad for your heart or that would cause plaque in your arteries. Ditch the caffeine. Stay healthy or get healthier. You will most likely be fine.

    I hope they mentioned to tell you, no smoking, no heavy drinking, no straining, no heavy lifting. or doing anything that would make you hold your breath and be careful not to over exhert on those cold mornings. Getting out of bed each morning is one of the most intense things we do to our bodies, so take it easy!

    40% of Aortic Disections (like most heart attacks) happen 4-10 a.m. and in the winter when blood platelets are stickier and increased adrenaline released from the adrenal glands can trigger rupture of plaques in coronary arteries.

    This is coming from a 44yr old healthy male that was fighting for his life, then on a helicopter from one hospital to the next for a 12hr Aortic Dissection surgery, had heart damage & and two minor strokes from the Dissection/Surgery, I had no warnings or any knowledge of such a thing until I came home from the hospital 4 months ago after 3 days in ICU and 11 more days in the hospital.

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    • Posted

      I forgot to mention stomach acid is more of a problem than one could imagine. I had bad eating habits, so stay away from that late night snack.
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  • Posted

    Hi Gloria,

    I can relate to your feeling fear. I was diagnosed in May and am scared some moments to the point of tears. This has been a rough month emotionally, and like you, I was not scheduled to see the doctor for six months too. I just changed that today. After several sleepless nights, a few calls to the nurses, and a really good conversation with my spouse, I made an appointment to talk with the doctor again next week. My hope is that if I can even understand a little more about this situation, it will improve my mental and emotional outlook.

    It's only been a month for me, and six month monitoring appears to be a standard for monitoring where I am too. What I can say is try not to let the worry and fear consume you. It not only is depressing, it is extra stress you don't need. Talk with people you trust, be your own best advocate, and most of all, know you are not alone.

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  • Posted

    Hello Gloria10315. I am 61 (at least for a few more weeks) and have a bicuspid valve and an aortic root aneurysm. My aneurysm is 5.7 cm. I was having a few issues and after several trips to the emergency department at the hospital, I was sent to a cardiologist, and he had an echo done. I received the results in March, and was told they like to do surgery when the aneurysm is between 4.7 and 5.1cm. I still don't understand why they sent me home. I was scared, I still am. I understand how you feel.

    I was given the diagnosis on a Friday. By Sunday night, I had myself in quite a state. My husband works 12 hour shifts, overnight. I was at home alone, and started feeling breathless, had pain under my arm which radiated to the centre of my chest, was nauseaous, sweating, etc so I called an ambulance. I think this was my first real panic attack because I did not have a heart attack.

    I have seen a surgeon and he told me in April that it could be up to 5 months after I am able to get in for a CT scan before my surgery is scheduled. I finally got in for the CT scan today. I still do not have a surgery date, but they also did a pre-admit on me today. I am hoping that means the surgery will be soon.

    My fear started to change after my ambulance ride. I decided I needed to trust my surgeon, and put my life in God's hands. I have no control over my future. I have to believe I still have a purpose here on earth, or I would not have lived this long, nor would I have been given "symptoms" to alert me that something was wrong. I should have listened to my body sooner, but my body was persistent enough that I finally got the message.

    Knowing you have a problem allows you to do a few things to help yourself. All the recommendations here are good. The advice to not lift heavy objects, don't exert yourself exercising to the point of being breathless, a good diet, and I would add drinking more water.

    I have benefitted from this forum, and a couple of others I participate in. I find that there are people with the same type of problem that I have who are knowledgeable, and experienced. I feel better just knowing I am not alone in my fear. I hope you will, too.

    All the best going forward, Gloria10315.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I had the same size and was really scared because I'm a 47 year old carpenter. I strain all the time working .. I waited 2 months and decided to have open heart to fix it. I was and still am healthy so deciding to tackle it head on was the best idea .. I'm 7 months out and doing great. I am going back to have my two top wires removed because of discomfort.... this is a quick summary of ALOT of fear and time spent recovering... I just could not live with the variables and possibilities of what could happen without warning. After surgery I was told my valve is bicuspid and when you have a bicuspid valve a lot of times aneurysm is also common. It's a tissue dysfunction. I had symptoms of anxiety and slight hypertension. I was also shutting down when I tried to run. Something that got me to the cardiologist. I believe my life was saved finding it at 47 because I have no reason to see a cardiologist. My heart is perfect and I have no blockages or calcification. Listen to your cardiologist and get more than one opinion from a surgeon. There is a giant gap of opinion between both Drs. Oh my BP went back to normal after the operation. I understand exactly what you are going through and the emotions. Message me if you want more info but honestly it's a really hard decision I know that so so well

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  • Posted

    Hi Gloria,

    My aneurysm was 4.9cm when it was found and i was shocked.Doctors suggested i wait but i wound up getting a second opinion and found a surgeon who agreed to operate even though it was smaller than the 'recommended' size of 5.5 cm. i definitely suggest getting a second or third opinion. and ask lots of questions. for me having the surgery was really the only choice. i knew i couldn't live with it in me worrying about what could happen.  i'm now a little over 5 months out and feel great. the surgery and recovery isn't easy but it was worth it in my opinion.

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  • Posted

    By coincidence mine is also 4.8, but has clots inside and above the aneurysm. I met with the surgeon 2 days ago.

    Last year, a clot broke off after a long haul flight and travelled south, blocking the blood suppy to the left leg and an aneurysm formed behind the knee cap. The foot started to become gangrenous. The NHS kept cancelling appointments.

    I had to get a 2nd and 3rd opinion, then go thru private insurance. Then I had to have a femoral bypass performed by a skilled vascular surgeon. A 6 hour op. The operation was successful and the leg was saved. The other knee also has an aneurysm. Because of this, my brain and neck blood vessels were checked for aneurysms. So far they are clear.

    The surgeon proposes that I have surgery now, instead of waiting before it becomes too difficult.

    I think it's prudent Gloria to get a second opinion if you are having any doubts.

    I keep active and walk about 14 miles each week.

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    • Posted

      I agree with gatekeeper .. I was told about clots also.... what ever you do go to agreat hospital with a great cardiac program and great surgeons .. don't just go to your local hospital because it's convinent. NYC has the best

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  • Posted

    I too have an Aneurism on my descending side which is now at 5.8. We need to balance thoughts around AAD knowing each is so different to the other, perhaps in background, age, and condition of abuse we have given our bodies and other medical conditions, plus the description of aneurism and position of each is so different, One thing is clear, our Consultants are in the best place to advise.. Although some are easier to work with than others including GP’s whom I have changed… which worked out far better.

     All advice is what it is… Advice only. No one treatment is suitable for all, and certainly may not be right for you... Learn as much as you can about it all, and apply what is best for you by working with the GP and consultants.  Information is key. Asking gains that key so ask about advice you find… to see if it fits you…!

     

     Some have lived a long, long time with sizes beyond the expected without surgery like me… some are complicated which adds greater Risk to surgery… Note|: The Aorta varies in size so it depends on where it is and the complexities… as to how they handle it... The US is very advanced in this work and knowledge you are in good hands…  Look up Aortic Dissection Support Group (US) Run by Lisa Peowski Bard on FB It is a site dedicated to this subject with many suffers worldwide. Or PM me for more Info more than will to connect you to Many AD warriors… ! 

    Take great care of yourself and wishing you well.

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  • Posted

    I had symptoms ... when I ran I would shut down.. I would start to caugh and not stop. My eyes and nose would water and run. It was totally predictable and I was able to replicate it for the cardiologist. After my operation those symptoms are gone. I beleve the anyerysm was beating against my windpipe and causing me to feel it.

    I was also displaying high anxiety and hypertension. After it was removed that's gone now. I also had a little high blood pressure and now 7 months after surgery it's gone. I honestly believe the nervous system and the heart put out signs of stress That we can feel if we are in tune with out bodies. I'm not just saying this I honestly feel better and I can't get as worked up about things. Before the operation and before I knew I had it I was constantly on edge and my chest was always pounding. I would have agreements with my wife and clutch my chest and tell her I'm literally going to have a heart attack. I really think the anyerysm effects your judgement especially once you know you have one. Cardiologist will actually write up your reason for operation based on anxiety and hypertension. It's not made up it's an actual symptom. I had the best nurse practitioner visit me after the operation in my home and she told me she sees this and the same symptoms all the time. She said I did the right thing. She said I promis you in about 7 months you will feel like you did before your body was reacting to the anyerysm.. she was right

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  • Posted

    Hi Gloria,

    Definlately, get more than one opinion. Especiatlly on the mesurement of the size of the Aneurysm. I have been measured from 4.6 to 4.8 to 4.95 at the root. The 4.95 measurement was by the thoracic cardiovascular surgoeon. I believe he is the most skilled and accurate measurer rather than a radiologist because he specializes in it. Good luck, and God bless you.

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