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Thoracic aortic aneurysm: Anyone had surgery?

Aortic Aneurysms | Last Active: May 24 7:13am | Replies (250)

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Hi @michellr,
Welcome to Connect. I moved your message to this discussion to introduce you to other Connect members who are talking about thoracic aneurysm. Interestingly @aldona like you felt it was like having a time bomb inside her. @jbsb93 opted to have surgery while @clevelandme decided against it.

I'm also tagging Bruce (@ch246cf10) to bring him into the conversation.

There are many factors to consider when making such an important decision. I encourage you to continue to share your thoughts and ask questions here with people who have "been there". Sometimes it just helps to write it down.

Connect Community Director

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Replies to "Hi @michellr, Welcome to Connect. I moved your message to this discussion to introduce you to..."

My dissecting aneurysm was measured 6.1 cm last September. I live in Palm Desert , Ca. and the doctor told me they
cannot do it at the Eisenhower hospital. Either Mayo, UCLA or Cedars. Do I qualify with Medicare and AARP at Mayo?
I don,t want to wait too long.

@axels I believe you do. What you should do is simple. First, make sure that Mayo (or the others) send the bill to both Medicare and AARP. They will send you the money, as much as they will pay, especially if you have plan F or G. Now, this is incredible important. Put that money in your bank account, and pay the bill with your plastic. DO NOT sign the check and send it to the clinic or whatever, especially MAYO. They will lose it in their incredibly old fashioned system, and tell you that you did not pay the bill yet. So just make sure that you have a VERY transparent process of getting the bill paid. Se came close to going to court over this one.

The Mayo hospital sends all bills to Medicare and your supplement. With the Clinic, you pay the bill and Medicare and AARP reimburses you. I have had no problems with Mayo billing. I don’t think you will either as long as you know that the clinic does not get reimbursement from Medicare or AARP. If you cannot afford to pay the clinic for tests, talk to Mayo. The clinic will work out something.

i have not written before but had a question I was diagnosed with a thoracic aortic aneurism in may of 2016, It as 4.2 I was told to watch it and have another c t scan in 6 months in jan of 2017 (aprox 6 mths) it had gone to 4.7 again wait 6 moths in july of 2017 had it checked again only this time it was done with contrast this time it was 4.5 I was told to have it checked in 6 myths. in jan of 2018 i had it done also with contrast all 4 times i had the ct scan using the same machine the doctor that read the scan was different this time it was 4.4
I am now told to ck it in 1 yr my question is it normal for it to get smaller or apear smaller?

Welcome to Connect, @loracnh,

I'd like to introduce you to Mentor @hopeful33250, as I'm confident that she may have more insight for you. I'd also like to invite @jimmorris900 @jpmerk @thankful @jend @lynnkay1956 @elsinann to join in, and provide some guidance and thoughts.

@loracnh, have you asked your doctor if there could be some variation in the CT, which could make the aneurysm appear smaller? Are you taking any medication to manage the aneurysm?

Hello @loracnh and thank you for your post.

Your question about the decreasing thoracic aortic aneurysm is very interesting. While I do not personally have a DX of thoracic aortic aneurysm I can certainly understand how frustrating it is not to have clear cut answers as to what is going on.

If I may ask, do you have any other heart problems, such as heart valve disorders or rapid heartbeat, etc.?

Here at Mayo Connect we try to encourage our Members to be proactive regarding their health needs and questions and to seek answers. Have you sought a second opinion about this problem? If you are near a Mayo facility (Minnesota, Florida or Arizona) or near a large university medical school that might be a good place to seek another opinion.

I look forward to hearing from you again.


I read where they sometimes never rupture. Mine is 6cm and holding. Keeping Bp down and hoping. Opting out of surgery because I am 83 and have copd.

Welcome to Connect, @ernestine, and thanks so much for sharing. Since you mentioned you have COPD, I thought you might be interested in scrolling through discussions in the Lung Health group, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/lung-conditions/ on Connect.

@ernestine, may I ask if your doctor is comfortable with your decision of not having any surgery? How are you managing the aneurysm? We sincerely look forward to getting to know you.

Hello @ernestine and let me add my welcome to you for posting on Connect!

I do encourage you to read through some of the posts on this page. As you can see, many people have had great surgery experiences, especially at Mayo. Have you addressed your concerns about COPD and the risks of surgery with your doctor? If not, that might be a good idea. He might be able to reassure you about your concerns.

I have a family member who was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm about 20 years ago. She decided because of her age (and most importantly her fear of surgery and doctors) not to address the problem surgically. While she was OK, with this decision, the rest of the family had a hard time with it. At age 92, she still has the aneurysm . Any time she has to have a CT or ultrasound of the abdomen doctors always warn her about the risks of not doing something, however she probably will continue on as always. This is a very individualized decision and requires courage to either address the problem or to let it run its course.

I wish you well and I look forward to hearing from you again.


Just joined Mayo Connect and saw your post today. Wondered if you got the surgery, how long ago, and where. If so, are you doing well now. I was looking into the three places you mentioned. I wish there was a great hospital for this surgery near our home but there is not. Concerned about aftercare if it is needed to remedy an unforeseen problem. Every doc here in Sacto wants to push their facilities regardless of their ratings and that I will not do unless it is an emergency. This surgery is too daunting for just anyone to perform. I sincerely hope all is well with you on Palm Desert. Deby