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abdominal aortic aneurysm

Posted by @peewee in Heart & Blood Health, May 15, 2012

could anyone tell me their experiences with an aneurysm i am scared, mine is a that very serious? dr. is checking it yearly.

Posted by Anonymous-4d986462, May 20, 2012

I sympathize as it is scary to be told, but I'd rather know about the aneurysm than not know. I also have AAA measured at 4.1cm which was discovered in 2006 while having a CT scan for another matter. The good news is that for the past six years, the aneurysm has been stable at the 4.1cm size. The vascular folks at Mayo tell me that 5.5cm is the benchmark size where the benefits of surgery outweigh the risk of rupture. So, watchful waiting continues. After years of reading, I believe that many people have aneurysms that remain relatively stable for life. Blood pressure and cholesterol management are important as is the opinion of a major medical organization such as Mayo who deal with AAA on a regular basis.

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Posted by @peewee, May 21, 2012

Thank you for replying to my AAA question. My AAA was discovered in 2007 at a 3.7. Since then I have been having it checked yearly. Everything was the same until last year when it measured 4.0cm. I forgot to mention that I had it checked with a CT scan the first four years than he switched me to ultra sound because he said I was getting to much radiation from the CT 's. When it came up a 4.0 last year I was very upset but he said not to worry that he didn 't think it had changed because the CT test is so much more accurate than the ultra sound . I had my last test (ultra sound) last month and it came back 4.4 cm. I really freaked out. He was still not concerned and said he still dosen 't think it has changed from the 3.7 that it was in 2007. I am having a CT in 6 months for peace of mind. This was at my insistance. He wan 't to wait a year. What do you think ? Have you been having yours checked with CT's or ultra sound? My blood pressure is great , but my cholesterol and triglycerides are a little high. I take medicine.


Posted by @tgp4545, May 22, 2012

A millimeter or two is pretty small and within the margin of error. Mine has been all over the map, from 3.9 cm to 4.6. Depends on your local hospital lab, the tech doing the scan and the doctor doing the interpretation. I believe one thing the local lab will not do is is give a smaller measurement from one they have previously given. I live in Maine and go to my local (small) hospital. In 2009, the ultrasound came back at 4.3cm, increasing from 3.9cm. Like you, I was upset and went to a large, well known Boston hospital and had a 3-D CT scan with contrast. It came through at 4.6cm. The chief of surgery met with me (20 minutes) and pretty much said I should entertain open AAA surgery since I wasn't a great candidate for EVAR. Well, I became really concerned because as you know, open AAA surgery is a big deal with lots of risks. I decided to get a second opinion, so I got a copy of my CT scan on a DVD from the Boston hospital and began research on the best hospitals in the country who deal with many AAA surgeries. I settled on Mayo in Rochester, MN simply because they have a well deserved reputation and do over 200 AAA surgeries annually. I made an appointment with the Mayo Vascular department for a second opinion and it turned out to be a great move. Where the Boston Vascular spent 20 minutes with me and did not actually show me my own CT scan, the Mayo Vascular intake doctors spent a full couple of hours with me actually showing me how they measure an aneurysm using the same CTscan DVD from the Boston hospital. The Mayo interpretation was that my aneurysm had not changed from the initial CT scan in 2006 of 3.9/4.0cm and that it did not measure 4.6cm. I now fly out to Mayo once a year for a consult and ultrasound scan and there has been no change. My comfort level with the folks at Mayo is high and while it costs $500/$600 annually to fly out and stay one night, to me its worth the peace of mind that comes from knowing I'm at the right place.

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Posted by @jbeehm, Jul 7, 2012

I have a thoracic aortic aneurysm. My mother had one and now I do too. I decided to go to the same surgeon my mother went to at Shands Hospital, University of Florida. I have my ct scan and abdominal ultrasounds done where I live and send them to him to read. If he doesn't like their scans, he sends for me to have it there where he is. My aneurysm has been at 3.9/4.1 for about 4 years now and he's not worried about the varying sizes either. He also says it depends on the machine and the radiologist reading the scans. He has told me I don't need to worry about surgery until I get over 5 and close to 6. I keep my cholesterol and my pressure down with a natural immune builder. I just acquired diabetes this year so I have been addressing that with diet and mild exercise such as walking. So far I don't have the abdominal one, but my mother did and they check mine every year. I hope this information gives you some encouragement as well. Always get a second opinion when a doctor suggests surgery, just as tgp4545 did.


Posted by @tgp4545, Sep 8, 2012

I recently purchased Medifocus Guidebook on: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. For a layperson, I found it to be the most comprehensive detailed overview of the condition and treatment options available. It's updated every four months, so the information is current.

Unfortunately, it isn't free, but to me worth the expense. I got it on Amazon for the Kindle, but I'm sure it's available in other formats at different booksellers.


Posted by @mukiga10, Jul 30, 2012

had condition 7/28/11; repaired by inserting a stent via both sides of groin; have not regained total feeling to the inside of both thighs; vascular surgeon idicates that the feeling should occur eventually; is there anyone that has experienced that same condition following a simular procedure


Posted by @raderdude, Oct 15, 2012

I had stents done thru the groin about 10 months ago. I have not felt any pain and never had a loss of feeling,sorry. The next time I had it done my Dr went thru the wrist. less painfull but was told my wrist would swell and be painful.Nothing that time either. Has it gotten any better since you posted ?


Posted by @ssams, Feb 15, 2016

I have a Splenic Artery Aneurysm and want to know ways to keep it from erupting as I do not have insurance.
Are there things I can do??


Posted by @marykrajicek, Jul 22, 2013

Contemplating AAA Want to know from people who have had abdominal aortic aneurysm open surgery


Posted by @jessicalatessa, Jan 29, 2016

What ever happened with this?


Posted by @kdh1, May 7, 2016

I had the open surgery and wan ted to know is it safe to have sex and how long to wait


Posted by @colleenyoung, Feb 16, 2016

Hi @ssams, welcome to Connect.
I moved your message to this discussion thread to help you connect with other members talking about abdominal aortic aneurysms. I'm also tagging @mimieleven @jessicalatessa @themadyank @lynnkay1956 and @HeartPatches.

According to this article the best ways to prevent a rupture is
- Quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Keep your blood pressure under control.
- Get regular exercise.
- Reduce cholesterol and fat in your diet.

Is there anything in this list that you can do?

Connect Community Director


Posted by @playsdixie, Apr 25, 2016

Hello....I'm a male 67....been a trumpet player all my life....VA doctors say I have 2 abdominal aneurysms 3-4 cm......they say playing the trumpet would be bad and could cause a rupture..later had another doctor say it would be alright....would like a definitive opion....sold my horns, quit playing but decided to risk it and am now playing again anyway....dangerous?????


Posted by @colleenyoung, Apr 25, 2016

Hi @playsdixie, Welcome to Connect.
I like your nickname! Speaking as a fellow horn player (French horn), believe me, I understand how hard it is to give up your "axe". That instrument becomes an extension of you. I would question whether the doctors know the abdominal pressure required to play the trumpet, especially if you're playing lead.

Have you ever brought in your trumpet and played for the doctor? That way they could see the exertion and make a qualified judgement. Do you think your cardiologist would be open to getting a live performance at a patient appointment. Tell him/her you won't charge 🙂


Posted by @playsdixie, Apr 27, 2016

Originally when diagnosed, the VA told me to quit....I kept asking dr's until I found one who said it's not really sure....I do play lead, the one dr told me playing wouldn't increase pressure on the anuerysm if playing didn't increase blood pressure, which it doesn't......


Posted by @colleenyoung, Apr 28, 2016

Tough call having to choose between what makes you happy to live and what might be living dangerously. If possible, I'd ask to play for your doctor so she/he could see what goes on when you play. Did several doctors tell you it wasn't a good idea and only one said it was okay?

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