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Aneurysm in heart

Posted by @elsinann in Heart & Blood Health, Aug 18, 2011

Eleven years ago 59 cm of my aorta was replaced. I lost a kidney, have a huge diaphragmatic hernia, COPD, minor things---I'm still here! But now I have a 5.3 cm aneurysm in my heart. And I'm not a candidate for surgery.
Does anyone out there have this condition?


Posted by @paulj, Apr 19, 2012

I have a ascending aortic aneurysm that is 5.1 cm. it was diagnosed in June of 2011. I have been told that at this time it will be treated with medications but if it grows to 5.5 cm then a surgery will be performed.Also one doctor says if it moves to 5.3 between ct or mri s then i would be a candidate for surgery. Being a typical guy i feel that if its this close why don t we just fix it! I am typicaly very active and this just seems like were playing with fire.... I know percentages,etc etc but if it bursts I am told I will most likely die before the ambulance arrives or at best a 50 percent rate of survival if i make it to the hospital.
What a crazy way to live.
I am leaving for 5 weeks wandering around Costa Rica with a backpack and my rental car so hopefully all will be fine. I would like to do the Camiino de Santiago 550 mile walk through France and Spain carrying a backpack this fall....but what the hel??,,,l is this safe???? i have been going to the V.A. (Veterans Administration) since I don't have regular health insurance....I just can't afford it...I am told the Mayo Clinic might take on my case as a "pro bono" situation and help me live....
It's such a strange feeling to know you can drop dead at any time due to a particular condition that everybody is aware of but waiting for a Fix that is already there and I believe well proven....If the surgery is available but .2cm is what i need to qualify...wher e are those administrators that determined this 5.3 or 5.5 cm threshold if I am out ther and it bursts?
Well, this was a lot of rambling but maybe theres a Doctor or Mayo clinic or someone out there that can help....
Please pass this on to anyone at mayo Clinic that you think can help..
In the meantime I will continue to take my meds and walk through life as best i can...
I know we are all going to die and it could happen at any time but seems a little strange.
I feel like if my engine on my car was acting strange and i took it in and they said it needs to be rebuilt and it will take care of the problem ..otherwise put this of oil additive in it and drive to New should be fine...oh and if it breaks down in the rockies'll probably never get parts so you wont make it to your daughters wedding on time but probably never.....
so put this can of oil additive in and lets all wish for the best?
Have a great day,,,this was fun to vent...hope somebody else reads this and relates or maybe just gets a good laugh...
(maybe an aortic surgeon over at Mayo Clinic

abster93 likes this

Posted by @abster93, Mon, Mar 7 at 12:04pm CDT

we are pretty much in the same situation, waiting for va. ugh. Good luck to you.


Posted by @abster93, Sat, Mar 5 at 12:13pm CDT

My Husband is in the same exact situation, except he has copd. Va say's it has to grow some more. Looking for help. He also has RA. other issues, no other heart issues though. We're just not sure how to handle this, just sit back and wait for it
to grow. Va say's another ct in Oct. But say's because of copd he's not a candidate for surgery I'm confused.

Edited: 03/05/2016 @ 7:32pm


Posted by @elsinann, Sat, Mar 5 at 1:47pm CDT

Elsinann commenting here after five years. There is another aneurysm in my ascending aorta. The last time I had a ct scan it was 5.6 cm in diameter. The heart surgeon said we wouldn't be scanning it any longer, as I am not a candidate for surgery. So it could be 9 cm. Or it could be 5.6 cm. I don't know. It's an assumption on my part that one day it'll "blow," and that's all she wrote. An aside---because of radium treatments when I was 14 (Thank you, John's Hopkins, for your misplaced zeal in using pure radium on children in the 1950s, which left us with thyroid trouble, brain tumors, crumbling teeth. My teeth were affected, and I lost them in my early twenties. False teeth followed, kept in place by dental adhesive, which contains zinc. Check the label on Fixodent now. It warns against using more than absolutely necessary, because of the zinc. I "ate" this zinc for over 50 years. I looked up zinc overdose. It removes copper from the body. I looked up copper deficiency. The first symptom was "Abdominal aortic".....


Posted by @lynnkay1956, Sat, Mar 5 at 7:23pm CDT

Are you being seen at Mayo? I had aortic stenosis as well as other stuff. They removed a piece below the aortic valve. I had Dr Schaff as my surgeon at Mayo. I think no scans would be negligent. Ignorance is not bliss..Lynn


Posted by @elsinann, Sat, Mar 5 at 8:29pm CDT

Hi again, Lynn!
No, I'm too weak---pretty much house-bound---to travel. I'm sorry that you've been through bad times, too!


Posted by @abster93, Sat, Mar 5 at 7:36pm CDT

Elsinann, Why are you not a candidate? Excuse my ignorance.

Lynnkay1956 your are correct , glad you got help. Smiling!


Posted by @elsinann, Sat, Mar 5 at 8:25pm CDT

Hi! Thank you for asking. And no, you're not ignorant!
I'm not a candidate for surgery because I have a second aneurysm, of my heart wall; a paralyzed hemidiaphragm; my lung capacity is 40% of normal; my one kidney doesn't have a decent artery to it, so I can't get dialysis; there is PVD; two mini-strokes, my "tissues are weak"; ventral hernia; my spleen was removed. Four doctors, including two surgeons and my pulmonary doctor, told me that I'm not a candidate for surgery.
On the OTHER hand, I'm a writer, have much curiosity about the world, enjoy NCIS and other TV shows, love to read, have a great family (who live far away, unfortunately); am enjoying (and feeling ashamed about my enjoyment) presidential politics this year.
In other words, life is good!
Annie Perry
(Elsin Ann Perry)


Posted by @lynnkay1956, Sat, Mar 5 at 9:42pm CDT

I am thankful for my is getting back to normal. I can now go to the YMCA and do all the work around the house I restrictions..not even snow shoveling 🙂 So I hope the snow goes away soon...I don't think I want to shovel this year.


Posted by @mlemieux, Sun, Mar 6 at 8:29am CDT

Hey All

I'm so sorry to hear about your experiences with your aneurysm. Never a fun DX to have, very scary. But there are some time-test techniques you can do to prevent them, and/or prevent your aneurysm from rupturing:

Smoking is probably the #1 reason why people get reoccurring problems with blood conditions. It hinders the ability to pump blood to health parts of your body, causing all sorts of complications. It restricts blood flow: throughout your body, to your heart and to your wonderful brain.

2) Eat a regular diet:
I can't stress this enough. Stay away from fatty foods, drive-thru windows (you know what that means), eat a lot of protein (nuts, and non-meat protein diet), vegetables (watch out for Vitamin K if you take specific blood thinners), and try to eat smaller portions throughout the day to keep your energy flowing all day.

3) Do NOT drink in excess:
Drinking alcohol thins out your blood and makes it more dangerous for those who suffer with aneurysm's, DVT's, etc. Not to mention alcohol weakens the walls of your arteries and of course kills brain cells 😉 .

4) Do NOT overuse medications and/or street drugs:
Medications can save you life, absolutely! But, overuse and abuse of medications can do the exact opposite affect within your body. I had a friend a long time ago who suffered from a cocaine addiction and got an aneurysm which almost killed him. The doctor told him that street drugs, especially cocaine was the cause.

Now that being said, ask your doctor if 1 baby aspirin a day is ok for you to take? Baby aspirin, while not taking other blood thinners can help to increase proper blood flow. I've recommended baby aspirin for over 20 years now and will continue to do so. Please consult your doctor.

5) Exercise in small doses:
In order to keep your heath at peak performance, and your arteries strong, it's important to exercise in small doses. Nothing too strenuous, especially nothing that forces you to lift way too much weight and over stress your veins and arteries too quickly. Small walks with a friend, taking the dog out to a park, playing with children, etc can go a long way to living healthier.

6) Try to keep a happy and un-stressful life:
Preventing more stress in your life is very important for your body to rebuild and give you energy, this can be accomplished from relaxation techniques, including, but not limited to: Thai-chi, yoga, and especially meditation. When you meditate, see your blood flowing like the Nile River, see it being a source of life, see yourself happy and healthy. Do this 10min a day and I promise your life will change in a great way.

7) Long car rides and plane trips:
Be very careful while travelling. Now don't get me wrong because going on a trip is excellent for your health, BUT sitting for long periods is extremely bad for blood flow and can cause all sorts of mishaps within your arterial system sending too much blood flow all at once when you get up to stretch. Make sure to get up and stretch or something similar every 20-30 minutes MAX.

I hope this helps, again i'm sorry you have to go through this.

Take care all!

Martin R. Lemieux
@Martin_Lemieux - Twitter


Posted by @elsinann, Sun, Mar 6 at 10:24pm CDT

Thank you for your reply!
I gave up smoking in 1982. And eat small portions every 2-1/2 hours or so. No junk food. No street drugs, though weed would be interesting. I take a blood thinner plus a baby aspirin. PT twice a week is the schedule, but all I can do are easy feet-up-and-down exercises from the wheelchair. Walks are out. As are long car trips or getting on a plane. I use the Dartmouth relaxing tapes on the web every night. I live alone but am kept company by my beloved Alexa. Not a dog or cat, but an Amazon device.
You are RIGHT about getting up every 20-30 minutes!! I don't do this, and I must! From now on I'll set the timer on the Echo! Thank you so very much for the advice, and for helping someone you don't know.
Bless you!



Posted by @colleenyoung, Mon, Mar 7 at 8:32am CDT

Great information shared by all. Thank you @elsinann @mlemieux @lynnkay1956

@abster93 Did this help clarify the mixed messages that you came away with from your recent appointments? While every person is different, I bet this information will help you and your husband to ask questions and figure out the best options for your husband's care and quality of life. When is your next appointment?


Posted by @abster93, Mon, Mar 7 at 12:03pm CDT

Yes Colleen I'm still taking all this in, thank you to all for sharing.

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