Abdominal aortic aneurysm – surgery

Posted by miracle1 @miracle1, Sep 2, 2019

Would like to know how patients did with AAA surgery

Hello @miracle1 and welcome to Mayo Connect

When you post "AAA sugery" I'm assuming that you are referring to surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm, is that correct? Have you been told that you need this type of surgery? If you are comfortable sharing a bit more about yourself, what size is the aneurysm; how long have you known about it; is your doctor planning on doing the open surgery or the type of surgery where a catheter is used?

While we wait for other Members of Connect to respond to your inquiry, I thought you might find this Mayo Clinic video helpful in understanding more about this procedure, Here is the link:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/cardiovascular-diseases/videos/abdominal-aortic-aneurysms-update-on-surveillance-and-repair/vid-20432848

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My sister is having surgery at Mayo for AAA surgery. As a caregiver I wanted to know what I need to plan?

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Now, I understand what you are wanting, @miracle1.

I'd like to direct you to a discussion group about AAA on Connect. Here you will see others who have dealt with this health issue. Here is the link to that discussion, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/aortic-aneurysms-introduce-yourself-meet-others/?commentsorderby=DESC#chv4-comment-stream-header.

In that discussion group is @kimspr3 whose mother (in her 70's) had the surgery. I'm inviting @kimspr3 to this discussion so that she can give you more information as a caregiver to someone who had the surgery.

@miracle1 Do you know which type of surgery your sister is having?

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I have a friend in town who had a 7cm one who is in her seventies. She was operated on here. She is doing ok . It saved her life but she has afib as a result. She was very athletic and previously a PE teacher.

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@anniejam

I have a friend in town who had a 7cm one who is in her seventies. She was operated on here. She is doing ok . It saved her life but she has afib as a result. She was very athletic and previously a PE teacher.

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@anniejam I don't think how physically fit we are determines who gets an aneurysm. I think genetics play a huge role. It is simply a weakness in the artery wall. It can be triggered by consistently high blood pressure or by smoking or by obesity but not everyone who has high blood pressure or who has smoked or has been obese develops this condition.

We also need to remember that as a population, we are living much longer and medical science can find these abnormalities much more easily than in the past. Before CTs and MRIs, I think the only way to find the aneurysm was by autopsy. We are fortunate to be aware of our diagnosis while we are still kicking and have it monitored and repaired as necessary.

Afib can strike just about anyone, with or without an aneurysm repair. There are medications to treat that and also ablations of the heart muscle that is causing the afib. I wish your friend well.

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@hopeful33250

Now, I understand what you are wanting, @miracle1.

I'd like to direct you to a discussion group about AAA on Connect. Here you will see others who have dealt with this health issue. Here is the link to that discussion, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/aortic-aneurysms-introduce-yourself-meet-others/?commentsorderby=DESC#chv4-comment-stream-header.

In that discussion group is @kimspr3 whose mother (in her 70's) had the surgery. I'm inviting @kimspr3 to this discussion so that she can give you more information as a caregiver to someone who had the surgery.

@miracle1 Do you know which type of surgery your sister is having?

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We live in Louisville, Ky. My sister had two repaired one month ago. She will be going back for the other three to be repaired with stent as soon as it arrives from Australia and surgery by Dr. Oderich. Being from out of town I was looking to see if all goes perf3ct approximately how long of stay in hospital and then rehab ?
I did call concierge and they gave me the name of hotels directly across from St. Mary’s.
I have forwarded this link to my sister and hope she will find it beneficial and gives her a little peace of mind,
Thank you so much.

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@1825

Hello everyone. I have an annual ultrasound and so far so good. I have used a manual wheelchair since 1984 following the surgery. I did not lose sensation. I get terribly swollen feet. The swelling used to really go down overnight now just a little. However as soon as I put my feet down we are back to square one. Probably due to sitting and poor circulation. I put my shoes on before I put my feet down! I am not in any pain except a little from rheumatoid arthritis in my hands. I count myself very lucky and I enjoy life.

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Hi @1825,

I was wondering how you're doing? I really like that last sentence in your post, above:"I count myself very lucky and I enjoy life."

I also wanted to mention this journal article I found online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1533316714000065
Paraplegia after abdominal aortic surgery is quite rare, and could be caused by the imbalance of oxygen demand and oxygen delivery or "critical interruption of the spinal cord blood supply" during the procedure. Have you talked to your doctor about the swelling in your feet?

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@kanaazpereira

Hi @1825,

I was wondering how you're doing? I really like that last sentence in your post, above:"I count myself very lucky and I enjoy life."

I also wanted to mention this journal article I found online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1533316714000065
Paraplegia after abdominal aortic surgery is quite rare, and could be caused by the imbalance of oxygen demand and oxygen delivery or "critical interruption of the spinal cord blood supply" during the procedure. Have you talked to your doctor about the swelling in your feet?

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There were two approaches to repairing the aneurysms unfortunately I was quite sick so there was only one option and that had only a 3% success rate. So lucky to be here! I started an organization SCITCS 31 years ago. See AlbertaSCITCS Facebook and scitcs.org.
Swollen feet due to PAD and of course sitting for 34 years, hot weather contributes as well. Unfortunately people comment which can be embarrassing. “Better to be looked over than overlooked” I think! Thank you for remembering and enquiring. Very kind of you.

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Hello everyone. I have an annual ultrasound and so far so good. I have used a manual wheelchair since 1984 following the surgery. I did not lose sensation. I get terribly swollen feet. The swelling used to really go down overnight now just a little. However as soon as I put my feet down we are back to square one. Probably due to sitting and poor circulation. I put my shoes on before I put my feet down! I am not in any pain except a little from rheumatoid arthritis in my hands. I count myself very lucky and I enjoy life.

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@modafi

I had open surgery Dec.18 2018 to repair a 5.7 cm tear in the root of the aorta. I am now worried about not having been in any type of rehab/exercise program following the surgery. I do get "winded" after going up and down stairs and need to sit down to catch my breath. I am still taking pain medication — only 1 every 12 hours now– but am tired most of the time. Is there a regime of exercises I can do to get back to feeling myself again? I would appreciate any feedback about recovery time and protocols following surgery.

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Hello @modafi,

Welcome to Connect. You’ve been through quite a major procedure, and I can imagine the fatigue you’re experiencing! Open abdominal surgery is the more invasive form of surgery and has a longer recovery time. Here’s some information from Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm/care-at-mayo-clinic/mac-20350696

Connect member @poppy123 might be able to share some thoughts as she recently posted about her father, who had a 10-cm abdominal aortic aneurysm repair done in 2017…https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/physician-consult-for-patient-in-hospital/
How is your dad doing, @poppy123?

Given that the celiac artery is the first major branch of the abdominal aorta, I’d encourage you to view this discussion, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/celiac-artery-aneurysm/
I’m hoping @mfolan @therannmann @onemind711 @kespectrum @degarden_girl @kdh1 @txkathy will join us here with some insights that might help you.

I’m also tagging @annak1691 @mimieleven @jessicalatessa @themadyank @lynnkay1956 and @HeartPatches who’ve talked about AAA in this discussion: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm/

@modafi, did you notice any symptoms before the tear was determined? How did the doctors diagnose this?

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@kanaazpereira

Hello @modafi,

Welcome to Connect. You’ve been through quite a major procedure, and I can imagine the fatigue you’re experiencing! Open abdominal surgery is the more invasive form of surgery and has a longer recovery time. Here’s some information from Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm/care-at-mayo-clinic/mac-20350696

Connect member @poppy123 might be able to share some thoughts as she recently posted about her father, who had a 10-cm abdominal aortic aneurysm repair done in 2017…https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/physician-consult-for-patient-in-hospital/
How is your dad doing, @poppy123?

Given that the celiac artery is the first major branch of the abdominal aorta, I’d encourage you to view this discussion, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/celiac-artery-aneurysm/
I’m hoping @mfolan @therannmann @onemind711 @kespectrum @degarden_girl @kdh1 @txkathy will join us here with some insights that might help you.

I’m also tagging @annak1691 @mimieleven @jessicalatessa @themadyank @lynnkay1956 and @HeartPatches who’ve talked about AAA in this discussion: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm/

@modafi, did you notice any symptoms before the tear was determined? How did the doctors diagnose this?

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Thank you for your wonderful response! I appreciate the connections with other members–I just have to remember to check my emails more frequently.
As far as noticing any symptoms before the tear was determined–I had just turned 60 in Oct. 2018 and my husband had his colonoscopy without incident. I had argued with my primary for 3 years about not wanting to go for a colonoscopy. My body started acting it's age in early November–I would get a quick sharp pain in my lower left abdomen that would last about 30 seconds–then I would notice a "gurgling" in my belly. At first, I thought it was gas.bloating.constipation or some other stomach issue. After our Thanksgiving dinner, I had a few days of discomfort that would wake me up during the night. I had scheduled a flu shot with my primary on Nov 26th and told him I would finally do the colonoscopy. He questioned why the sudden change of heart and I explained about the quick sharp pain. He said this symptom did not sound like a colon problem–and did an immediate ultrasound in the office. He noticed and recognized the tear immediately. He sent me downstairs to the ER (his office is located in the same building as Silver Cross Hospital Immediate Care) for a CT scan. I got the news that this was serious and would need surgery. The ER medivac'd me to Christ Advocate (a Trauma 1 hospital) where I was immediately placed in the STIC-U. I met with the surgical team and was advised that I would need an open repair because of the location of the tear in the root of the aorta (below my belly button and close to the renal arteries). After a week in the hospital, I was sent home to wait for my surgical call. I was not on any blood pressure medication, had not had any previous cardiac events or any pulmonary problems. Basically–I was in what I thought good health. This has been determined to be genetic–my father passed from throwing a blood clot following hip replacement surgery. It turns out that he had the same type of aneurysm. We were not advised of the secondary cause of death until we read the death certificate so no genetic testing was advised for my sister or myself. I will be contacting John Ritter Foundation or Mayo for advice on how my sons can get genetic testing.
This has been a shock–not only to my immediate family and my sister–but to me. I don;t have anyone in my immediate circle of friends with this condition so I decided to do my own research on the internet. i was unaware of the meaning of an aneurysm and was glad to read about John Ritter's case. Thank goodness for websites like this! I am in a better frame of mind knowing I can ask questions without feeling foolish or bothering the surgeon. I have received cardiac clearance to return to work after being on 3 months of disability. I'm concerned with the lack of cardiac rehab (my scans did not qualify me for rehab and AAA does not fall within the parameters of cardiac surgery). I need to take control of this myself and be an informed patient. I'll follow up with your suggestions–and thank you again for your kind words!

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I had open surgery Dec.18 2018 to repair a 5.7 cm tear in the root of the aorta. I am now worried about not having been in any type of rehab/exercise program following the surgery. I do get "winded" after going up and down stairs and need to sit down to catch my breath. I am still taking pain medication — only 1 every 12 hours now– but am tired most of the time. Is there a regime of exercises I can do to get back to feeling myself again? I would appreciate any feedback about recovery time and protocols following surgery.

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