Minimally Dilated Ascending Aorta

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Hello, I am a 36 year old male from Texas, USA. I was told last year that a 2011 scan showed my Aorta to be dilated. I had an echo cardiogram in March 2017 to confirm this and in September 2017 I had a CT scan. Both the echo and ct scan say No evidence of Aortic Aneurysm but both say my Ascending Aorta is minimally dilated. It currently measures 3.1 cm per the CT scan. I have a follow up appointment in February with my cardiologist. I guess if I have had this since 2011 and it is at 3.1 cm that is a good sign. If you don't mind sharing can someone tell me their age, how long they have had this same condition, yearly growth rates they have experienced, medications along with any lifestyle changes they have done that might have helped? I am currently taking Metoprolol Tartate 100 mg x 2 daily, Pravastatin 40 mg once a day. I am overweight by about 80 pounds and am a current smoker. I am currently working on quitting smoking and have set a quit date per the direction of my quit coach. I am extremely worried since I have three very young daughters. Before this I thought I had my whole life ahead of me and now I feel like I am going to drop dead at any minute. I am terrified of even having the surgery. I have been doing a lot of reading and they say the growth rates are about .07 cm per year for an ascending aneurysm which would mean I can expect to have surgery in 30 years or so. I really want to know how realistic that average is. 

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  • Posted

    My better half Jon was diagnosed in June 2016 with AAA 4.6 cm. It was checked via ultrasound every 3 months. He had surgery in June 2017 at 5.6cm. CT scan is more in depth and often this imaging makes it smaller. AAA can stop growing for years or be fast growing like Jon. You just need to go for the reviews and see how you are doing. It’s difficult and the operation is serious too. Jon is one of the lucky ones, he is going back to work after nearly 8 months off and is not fully recovered. Jon is 61.
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  • Posted

    I was diagnosed by accident from a lung ct scan mine is 4cm I am 55 years old. I haven't made an appointment yet I don't even know what Dr to see. I am so scared as well.

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    • Posted

      Barb, you should probably start by seeing your family practitioner and getting basic information but that Dr should refer you to either a cardiologist or a vascular specialist. Make an appointment and go so that you can get the information you need. Remember, information is power. I know this is scary, it scares me too but I am trying not to let it consume my life. We have to keep sharing information and supporting each other.
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  • Posted

    Hello Nick, I am 63 yr old and have known about my ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm for 2 1/2 yr. The aneurysm was found when it was 4.1 cm and has now grown to 4.4 cm. It is very important to keep your weight and blood pressure down and quit smoking. It sounds like you are doing the right things. I also do moderate exercising, usually walking, at least 30 min every day, try to eat a heart healthy diet and don't lift anything over 20 lbs. I know you are worried because this is a scary thing. I too am afraid of the surgery. Please remember that aneurysms may or may not grow and doctors don't usually recommend surgery until it grows to 5 -5.5 cm. It's important to monitor it but try not to get obsessed about it. That does get easier with time. I have found following the patient forums helpful. It is encouraging to know that there are others who are living with aneurysms and doing well. Hang in there and keep communicating.

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  • Posted

    Sorry you're going through this anxiety.  Frankly, I think (I'm not a medical professional) that your smoking and excess weight is a much bigger health risk than your dialated aorta.  Usually you don't need a surgical aorta repair until you get to 5.0-5.5cm.  I suspect your doctor is trying to scare the bejeezes out of you to lose the weight and quit smoking, both of which will accelerate an enlarged aorta.  If you can do those two things, I think the enlarged aorta issue will fade to the background.  Of course you'll need to check it periodically to make sure it doesn't enlarge particularly if you have a bicuspid aortic valve since folks with this condition are susceptible to an enlarged aorta.  So try to quit worrying and get the weight off and quit the smokes.

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    • Posted

      Redman, I think you are right on with your reply to Nick. An enlarged aorta is scary but we can control some of our risk factors. Best of luck to you Nick.
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  • Posted

    Hey Nick, I understand your anxiety.i had a CT scan done on my back and they found a 4.3 cm. ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm. I am overweight as well, but do not smoke, however I have worked in a smoking environment for 18 years in a casino.. I started weight watchers 2 days after finding out about the TAA.. That was 2 weeks ago and I've lost 8 lbs.. but still need to lose a good 50 more..I'm due to see a cardiologist in 2 weeks..reffered by my family Dr. I'm scared too.. I hate that every time I get a gas bubble or muscle strain.. I'm terrified that it's something worse.. I'll be glad to see the cardiologist to put my mind at ease..at least I hope.

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