Partner awaiting operation for aortic aneurysm advice please on what to expect

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My partner has an aneurysm of 5.5cm, we are waiting CT scan and fitness test before we get told surgery options. He was first diagnosed 6 months ago when it was 4.8cm so growing regularly. Can anyone give me advice on what I can expect, how I can support him. He wants open surgery as it seems to give a more definitive solution he is only 60. I don't want this to overtake our lives but want as much info to support him better.

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  • Posted

    I'm 67 and had my AAA repaired 23 days ago. I choose to go with the stent. The open procedure scared me. The stent was a piece of cake only in hospital overnight.

    Going back to work next week.

    I'm sure your surgeon will tell u that the stint is for the older people. Mine thought 67 was young. Best of luck to u.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, glad you are doing well. From when you had the discussion to decide treatment after the CT scan how long did you need to wait for the procedure? It is scary thinking about an open procedure but I have to support Jon with what he decides. We won't know until after the scan what the options are, they told us that last week they turned downs 62 year old from any procedure yet operated the keyhole procedure on a 92 year old. All depends on fitness tests , scan and bloods. Just one day at a time I guess.

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    • Posted

      I can understand that it is a scary process for everyone. Our son has a rare disease which causes malignant acting tumours so I guess this has made us more resilient to just getting things sorted as you never know what is round the corner. Just glad you are on the road to recovery and on the other side now. The press is constantly stating the issues with the NHS so worried about operation being cancelled last minute due to lack of beds or a long wait. Just trying to go for walks and getting him fitter for surgery.
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  • Posted

    I had an aneurysm that went from 4.6 to 5.5cm in one year. I also had a bicuspid valve, which lowers the upper limit to 5cm (typically according to my surgeon). I had surgery almost 3 years ago, due to the size and the rate of growth. I was in a different situation, I was 38 when I had surgery. As far as what to do for him... Do what you can to keep stress at a minimum (easier said than done right!). Help him make healthy food choices. Go for walks together (if his doctor recommends to do so). Take notes at the appointments for him, the information and emotions can be a bit overwhelming. Generally just be a positive force in his life. I am sure you are very anxious and scared just as he is. I am not saying you shouldn't talk about it but dwelling on it is not going to help. Do your homework and listen to the doctor. Having open heart surgery is a scary experience but the human body is amazingly resilient. I know I am younger but I know a lot of older people that bounced back amazingly fast. Best wishes.

    Mike

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    • Posted

      Hi I've just read on your message that your aneurysm went from 4.6 to 5.5 in a year, I have been told that my aneurysm was 4.5 in around April 2016 and I'm not due to see my heart doctor until May this year and have been having chest pain and I went to a&e they said it's nothing to do with my aneurysm after looking at my X-ray 🙄, but I get short of breath and chest pain on exertion any ideas why ?? Do u think my aneurysm has grown ? I know your not a doctor but just. Wed some info as my doctor never tells me

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    • Posted

      Jon was always on 3 monthly observations, however even 1mm makes a difference on how they treat you. His last scan he was 5.1 cm but he had to be over 5.2cm for next stage.So for 1mm he had to wait 3 months for next scan! You might have just been in yearly monitoring with 4.5, sometimes they can even stop growing for a period of time. Jon has not had chest pain or breathlessness but if you have been getting these then what has your Gp said? It needs looking into as surgery options could be affected by this. Have you had a ECG? Most surgeries can do them on site. Jon now has to have CT and fitness test, so if yours has grown to over 5.2cm then that would be your next stage too. It is difficult as each case is different but you do need to trust your vascular team. You are entitled to ask for a second opinion. All the best sorry we are not much help!
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    • Posted

      Sonia, I obviously cannot say anything about whether your aneurysm has grown. I do know that I had a lot of stress and anxiety at the time of my surgery. I had a lot of stress in my personal life on top of the stress of knowing you have this condition. I felt a lot of chest pain at times. My cardiologist told me that this condition should cause no pain. He attributed it to the stress in my personal life. I will say that I oringally went to my PCP and told him I was having chest pains, which led to an electro-cardiogram, which found abnormalities, which led to a stress test, then an echo and then a CT scan... which revealed I had an aneurysm. The doctors still attributed the chest pains to the stress in my personal life because an aneurysm shouldn't cause pain. It was just coincidence (and very common) that extreme stress causes pain in the upper chest. So... I don't know. I trust my doctors. They saved my life, I really believe that, but I still wonder...

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    • Posted

      Short of breath and chest pain is not related to aneurym but it could be stress -related or some other problem. 

      Yoir doctor should do additional tests to find out whats going on. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks we are trying to fit in more walks but shift work is not great with this. You are right I need to encourage him as he is less likely to go for walks on his own. He is doing 6000-7000 steps a day but trying to up it to 10,000. Trying to reduce stress just taking one day at a time, just glad we should know what procedure will be offered in the next eight weeks, that will take some stress away instead of wondering whether he will even be accepted. Wow 38 is really young you were lucky it was picked up. Glad you are doing well heard horror stories on people never fully recovering from the op and always having illheath afterwards. Thanks for your advice really appreciate it.
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