Abdominal aortic aneurysm: Surgery postponed due to COVID-19, scared!

Posted by lynetteirizarry @lynetteirizarry, Apr 17 12:53pm

My AAA was diagnosed in March by EXray of my back. They said it was at 4.7 now, in last October it was 3.8 and I should see my vascular DR. So I called made an appointment, nurse said Yes you need to come in soon and made appointment for a week later…That appt got canceled and moved 3 weeks further away, then it gets canceled until further notice…..So I called back to explain its growing faster I need utra sound. Had to do Tele conference with Pa, she told me that even if it measured 5 CMs they would not do surgery until it was 6.5cm! Before it was 5, now because of virus its 6.5! Im sacred and very worried, are they only taking virus patients and the rest are left to suffer, or die? What the heck is going on, this is America, not third world country!!!

Lynette,

I'm not sure that I completely understand what you are saying. It has gone from a 5.0 to a 6.5. How do you know it is growing faster? Have you had another scan since it was 5.0? Also, you said because of the virus it has expanded to 6.5. Can you provide more info? For example, how you know it is 6.5 now.

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@cheryl66

Lynette,

I'm not sure that I completely understand what you are saying. It has gone from a 5.0 to a 6.5. How do you know it is growing faster? Have you had another scan since it was 5.0? Also, you said because of the virus it has expanded to 6.5. Can you provide more info? For example, how you know it is 6.5 now.

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I think I understand what you are saying now. You think that because of the virus, the Dr. has changed his criteria for surgery.

I truly don't think that is the case. I have a 4.9 and my appointment has been cancelled and delayed since last November. I am not overly concerned. I have been through this several times. 6.5 cm is a fairly common standard for initiating surgery. You would not believe the number of people walking around right now that have a 5cm aorta and don't even know it. They will die of something else before they die from a rupture.

My best advice, and I think I might have said this to you before a couple months ago. Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk, do not stain to poop.(sorry folks). If you have to hold your breath to go you shouldn't. Use stool softeners daily if necessary and keep your blood pressure down.

Please let me know if I can help you any further.

Cheryl

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Great advice, @cheryl66

@lynetteirizarry COVID-19 has forced so many people to postpone procedures and surgeries. As well as with Cheryl, I'm connecting you with others from this community who may be able to give you advice on what they did to put their mind at ease during the "wait" for surgery, like @acara @tgp4545 @kdh1 @maryswims @ken82 @hopeful33250 @degarden_girl

You may also be interested in this discussion:
– COVID-19: Anyone else dealing with postponed heart procedure? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/how-is-covid-19-affecting-you/

Lynette, are you having this surgery done at Mayo Clinic?

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I believe the usual scheduling for surgical repair of an ascending Aortic Aneurysm is in the 5 to 6 CM range but that might be the conservative range.

Be aware that measurements are not exact. Having a CT scan compared to an echo will not be using the same measurements. Also, different technicians will read results differently. Don't get over stressed by this delay. I do think you might feel more at ease if you call your cardio again and make a phone appointment to speak with him or her. Don't depend on nor stress out about the comments of the office staff.

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Hello @lynetteirizarry

I can certainly understand your concern about the postponement of surgery. It might be helpful to contact your doctor's office (perhaps through the patient portal) and ask what you can do to prevent any ruptures until the surgery is able to be scheduled. Some of @cheryl66's suggestions about lifting, avoiding straining, etc. are good ones.

Here is some information from Mayo Clinic's website, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350693

"Lifestyle and home remedies. For an abdominal aortic aneurysm, your doctor will likely suggest that you avoid heavy lifting and vigorous physical activity so as not to increase blood pressure excessively, which can put more pressure on your aneurysm.

Stress can raise your blood pressure, so try to avoid conflict and stressful situations. If you're going through a particularly emotional time in your life, let your doctor know because your medications might need to be adjusted to keep your blood pressure levels from going too high."

Do you currently take blood pressure meds, @lynetteirizarry?

Liked by lynetteirizarry

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@hopeful33250

Hello @lynetteirizarry

I can certainly understand your concern about the postponement of surgery. It might be helpful to contact your doctor's office (perhaps through the patient portal) and ask what you can do to prevent any ruptures until the surgery is able to be scheduled. Some of @cheryl66's suggestions about lifting, avoiding straining, etc. are good ones.

Here is some information from Mayo Clinic's website, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350693

"Lifestyle and home remedies. For an abdominal aortic aneurysm, your doctor will likely suggest that you avoid heavy lifting and vigorous physical activity so as not to increase blood pressure excessively, which can put more pressure on your aneurysm.

Stress can raise your blood pressure, so try to avoid conflict and stressful situations. If you're going through a particularly emotional time in your life, let your doctor know because your medications might need to be adjusted to keep your blood pressure levels from going too high."

Do you currently take blood pressure meds, @lynetteirizarry?

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I take amlodipine, iberesartan twice a day. And yes there is a lot of stress for me as a storm came thru and knocked over 3 big trees and burst our water pipe. Cant help husband with any of it! And virus is making me crazy!!!

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@lynetteirizarry

I take amlodipine, iberesartan twice a day. And yes there is a lot of stress for me as a storm came thru and knocked over 3 big trees and burst our water pipe. Cant help husband with any of it! And virus is making me crazy!!!

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Id like to know if 6.5 cm is in danger of bursting? If it gets that far while virus is going on…

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@colleenyoung

Great advice, @cheryl66

@lynetteirizarry COVID-19 has forced so many people to postpone procedures and surgeries. As well as with Cheryl, I'm connecting you with others from this community who may be able to give you advice on what they did to put their mind at ease during the "wait" for surgery, like @acara @tgp4545 @kdh1 @maryswims @ken82 @hopeful33250 @degarden_girl

You may also be interested in this discussion:
– COVID-19: Anyone else dealing with postponed heart procedure? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/how-is-covid-19-affecting-you/

Lynette, are you having this surgery done at Mayo Clinic?

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At Baylor in Dallas. And he was going to do surgery at 5cm, now yes, because of virus 6.5

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@lynetteirizarry

I take amlodipine, iberesartan twice a day. And yes there is a lot of stress for me as a storm came thru and knocked over 3 big trees and burst our water pipe. Cant help husband with any of it! And virus is making me crazy!!!

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Hello @lynetteirizarry
As surgery does not appear to be an option right now, I'm wondering if you have tried any relaxation and/or meditation exercises. This can be a way of downplaying your reactions to the stressful circumstances in your life right now. If you read the article that I posted yesterday you will understand why controlling stress is important, "Stress can raise your blood pressure, so try to avoid conflict and stressful situations. If you're going through a particularly emotional time in your life, let your doctor know because your medications might need to be adjusted to keep your blood pressure levels from going too high."

Here is a link to a video from Mayo's website that might be helpful to you:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/multimedia/meditation/vid-20084741

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@lynetteirizarry

At Baylor in Dallas. And he was going to do surgery at 5cm, now yes, because of virus 6.5

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In addition to meditation and relaxation exercises, I'd like to point out the fact that the experts in this field are not rushing to operate until it reaches 6/6.5 to me indicates you are still not at risk. Also, being a patient in a hospital undergoing open heart surgery when the hospital is inundated with coronavirus patients, for which there is no cure presently, sounds like you are not only being protected from a horrific disease, but also have a good amount of time before your operation might be necessary. Personally, the last place I'd want to be now would be a hospital!

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@twojunes2

In addition to meditation and relaxation exercises, I'd like to point out the fact that the experts in this field are not rushing to operate until it reaches 6/6.5 to me indicates you are still not at risk. Also, being a patient in a hospital undergoing open heart surgery when the hospital is inundated with coronavirus patients, for which there is no cure presently, sounds like you are not only being protected from a horrific disease, but also have a good amount of time before your operation might be necessary. Personally, the last place I'd want to be now would be a hospital!

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Hello @twojunes2
You have provided some helpful ideas for @lynetteirizarry.

Liked by Deanna Constans

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