Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm surgery coming soon

Posted , 7 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Approximately 8yrs ago, doctors discovered a 4.6cm aneurysm in my aorta during routine testing in preparation for an upcoming surgery. Fast forward 8yrs later my aneurysm has increased in size to 5.8cm so everyone in theseforums know what that means...its surgery time! I've had echoes and CT Scans every 6 months as this appears to be the wait and watch approach when aneurysms are under 5cm.. My aneurysm was slow growing until the last 18 months. At least 3 CT scans were missed and the echoes didn't clearly show growth. Now, I am terrified out of my mind about having an "open repair". It has been brought to my attention that because of the location of my aneurysm, I am not a candidate for an "endovascular repair". Imagine my disappointment. My anxiety level is at an all time high and I am symptomatic. Chest heaviness and back pain coupled with migraine headaches. Apart of me realizes that these surgeries are done rather routinely now but that still doesn't stop the horrendous fear I have. I have had severe allergic reactions to meds in the past. I'm not a good sleeper generally and now its worst. I have to schedule my surgery by June, to have at least 6 months of recovery time before my family cruise in Dec.. I am a 56yr old female veteran. I used to run least east 3 miles a day and Jazzercise at least 5 days a week until I was told to stop by my cardiologist. I have since gained about 15 lbs in these last 8yrs but other than that, no high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. My doctors assure me that I am a perfect candidate and shouldn't experience any complications but the idea of my sternum being cut open and just the entire procedure is frightening. What's more concerning is once you have aneurysm in one place, another could eventually show up somewhere else in the future. I've also been told that these repairs can require maintenance in the future! Its all just a little too much but knowing the alternative..carrying around a ticking time bomb, I have to have the surgery. I know people that survived a couple yrs after the surgery, had to have some type of maintenance and never truly recovered and died. My neice fiancé was life alighted to the hospital in mid March with a dissection, he is currently and the road to recovery. I have a lot of family support but of course they are all concerned as well. The saga continues..

4 likes, 21 replies

Report

21 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    I can only imagine the fear that may overcome you or anyone who walks around knowing that they have a growing aneurysm that could possibly kill them in a matter of minutes. I was so fortunate as not having known and instead had to endure the horrendous effects of a ruptured AAA. I'm still recovering. I just wanted to let you know that I read your story and I'm wishing you the best. By the way, they had no option but to cut me open. It is now 5 months post op and I still feel numbness from my groin to my ankle. My hip gets weak after walking 30 or so steps. I am now constantly urinating and I'm hoping that it's because of the meds that I'm taking and not because of any kidney complications. The flashbacks of dreams and hallucinations still haunt me as a result of the meds I was given in the hospital ICU and I have a whole new outlook on the meaning of life and death. I would like to to suggest that you don't rush your recovery and don't be disappointed if you have to reschedule your family trip.

    ~Wishing you the best.

    Report
    • Posted

      Kay, Would you reccommend anyone to have the surgery aftter what you are experiencing now?  I'm 70 years old, a few medical issues, but will have to make this decision within the year.  Just trying to get all info I can in order to make the right decision.  I'm reading here that there is major maintenance after surgery and still potential life threatening issues.  God bless you and I truly pray you have a healthy future.  Just don't know enough about this thing and don't know if doctors really can guide us .
      Report
    • Posted

      It is very taxing on your body but a necessary evil that can potentially save your life (as it did mine). Maybe you are preparing mentally as time leads up to your surgery. I didn't have time to prepare and I think that is why it has affected me so dramatically both physically and mentally. Just make sure you go in with a positive attitude. Don't fear the possibilities. Prepare yourself for discharge from the hospital. Make sure you know where you want to go for rehabilitation after leaving the hospital. Do you want to go to a rehabilitation hospital or a rehabilitation nursing home facility? Or would you rather have home health and will there be someone there to help you? Choose wisely because I wouldn't recommend my worse enemy to go to the rehab facility I went to after leaving the hospital so choose wisely. After the surgery, you will be on a ventilator and under heavy sendation and pain meds. Make sure you have loved ones checking in on you...I wish you the best and thank you for your prayers.
      Report
    • Posted

      Wow, I have experienced hallucinating from meds in the past and yes they do stay with you. My aneurysm is thoracic.. Chest pains have sped up my need for surgery. I am in the hospital, surgery scheduled for Tuesday! Wishing you the best with your recovery.
      Report
  • Posted

    I also have a thoracic anerysm. On the arch of my aorta. Mine is currently. 4.5i only found out last july. I also lost my nephew 2 years ago. At the age of 42. Im 59. At first i. Had al the fears you have and since then. Ive put it to the back of my mind. It found worrying. Just too much and getting me down and also it wasnt helping the situation. Try not to worry i know its easier said than done
    Report
    • Posted

      Inthe beginning, my fear was low. That all changed with info that it had grown signicantly and now surgery is necessary. Been in the hospital since Monday, surgery will be Tuesday.
      Report
  • Posted

    gigi,

    My prayers with you. Did your Dr mentioned about why it was increased all of sudden from 4.6 to 5.8 cm? I have  Thoracic Aneurysm size @ 4.6 cm from June, 2015. I did echo recently and stayed as it is , almost one year. I am praying the god every day to keep in the same position. i am 39 years old , male.

    I asked my Dr so many times, why and how it increases? I never got concrete ans. Only control the weight lifting. I play Volleyball a lot but scaring a lot.

    All the best again

    Report
    • Posted

      Not sure why it increased suddenly, it took 8yrs to increase but did so rapidly in the last 18 months. Dr said not uncommon but they usually are getting ready to rupture. I have been admitted in hospital and surgery will happen sooner than I planned. High blood pressure , stress and heavy lifting (strain on the heart) makes them grow, amongst other things.My doctors stopped me from running 8yrs ago. I had a heart cath procedure today and everything went well.
      Report
  • Posted

    From your saying you were afraid of having your sternum split I'm assuming you have a thoracic aneursym . If that is the case I can tell you all about it. I'm a relatively healthy 55 year old male who had the full open surgery about 20 months ago in september of 2014. If your aneurysm is abdominal I can't really help. But if it is what I think I believe I can calm some of your fears by describing my experience. Let me know which it is so I know if it is worth getting into.
    Report
    • Posted

      Hi, I'm looking at decision of surgery with a Ascending Thoracic Aneyrysm which is at a 4.2 now. Female, 70 years old.  Had stent inserted in July 2015 for blocked SMA vessel in abdomin in one vessel.  The bottom vessel was completely gone..should have 3 but now Ihave 2.  Also just had stent put into heart vessel that was 90% blocked 2 weeks ago.  I'm told that the graft for the aneurysm is very risky.  How did you make your decision to have the surgery and will you give me a little detail about what to expect.  Thank you
      Report
    • Posted

      YES, anything that you are willing to share. Chest pains forced me to the ER, I have been admitted and surgery is Tuesday. Thanks for sharing!
      Report
    • Posted

      I'm so glad to know that you are in the hospital and getting monitored up until your surgery on Tuesday. Keep us posted on your recovery. 
      Report
    • Posted

      Good Morning!  Just wanted to see how you were doing and let you know we're thinking and praying for you and a healthy outcome for your surgery.  When you feel like it, please keep us updated.  

       

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Kay10213

      Caught a cold while hospitalized and was sent home. Surgery was

      scheduled Fri 5/20/16. I am at home recovering PAINFULLY so..

      Report
    • Posted

      I am VERY GRATEFUL FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!! I had surgery last

      Friday 5/20/16! What an experience this journey has and continues

      to be! I came home Wed 5/25/16.. I am finally completely coherent

      and capable of walking and completing very small task, very

      slowly, I might add. A lot to share but not sure where to start so

      ask away...

      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up