Aneurysm of the ascending aorta

Posted by topean @topean, Feb 22, 2023

I'm a 68-year-old male in good health. I take medications for high blood pressure. On 3/1/22 I had a CT calcium scan and the aorta measured 4.4cm. On 9/21/22 I had an echocardiogram and the aorta measured 4.75cm. On 9/16, 2023 I had another echocardiogram and the aorta measured 4.8cm.

My father had an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta and at the age of 60 was operated on successfully in 1986. At the age of 70 (1996) he was operated again for an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta and the operation was not successful.

My paternal grandfather dropped dead at the age of 50. Cause of death was related to heart issues.

My cardiologist said it was good news that my aorta did not dilate significantly (i.e. from 4.75cm to 4.8cm vs. 4.4cm to 4.75cm). I'm going to have an MRA in March and thereafter meet with a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Considering there is a history of aortic aneurysms in the family am I looking at having surgery sooner than later (i.e. this year) or can I monitor the growth until the aorta measures above 5.0cm which seems to be the threshold for operating. Thanks

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That answer he gave you is why I no longer trust many doctors.

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I have MyChart with all my labs and several hospitals linked together and I will check diagnosis and doctor notes. Good. I always do a cursory glance at my hospital visits but I will look closer for any hints of possible related issues.


I was never assigned to a Cardiologist, and of course, I am second-guessing after reading about those of you who have a PCP and a Cardiologist even though I am monitored by a Thoracic Team. An Internal Medicine doctor was the one who sent me for an Echo and the Transthoracic Echocardiography report recommended the doctor schedule a CT chest for evaluation of the size of the ascending aorta. After the test, I was notified and spoke with a member of the Cardiothoracic team who stated I was 4.1 not 4.3 as originally marked on the test. I would be "under surveillance" and my follow-up was EKG Gated CTA chest in 2 years as per Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm (TAA) Regional guidelines. I feel good as my PCP has me on low-dosage Atorvastatin and Amlodipine. I am 71, and walk on the treadmill every other day, 1 mile at 2.0 which is the doctor's recommended amount, and no lifting over 30 lbs especially since I am healing from Costochondritis.


Ok. Thanks. I will see him Monday and get more information about my situation (if anything). I’m sure he’ll be able to help me.
He tends to send me to my cardiologist for Coumadin monitoring and I suspect he will tell me to see my cardiovascular surgeon. Which really wouldn’t help me because going back to the surgeon that said “see you next year “ is not what I’m looking for as I don’t trust him since he felt annoyed by my presence.
He could have at least send me for an evaluation to inform me how big or small it is.
It’s probably too small to do anything about it but I would like to know the size so that I can find relief in knowing it’s not going to burst anytime soon.
The trauma hospital thought I would have to return for surgery at a later time so I have the right to know why he said that. When a cardiovascular surgeon says I will have to return for surgery just not in an emergency room case that it can wait until later.
Thanks Tom

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Call the trauma center and ask for health information management. Tell them you would like a copy of everything in your chart from that timeframe. You’ll have more answers. There’s usually information I’d never think to ask. Also, when a physician blows me off and makes me feel like an idiot, I find a new physician. By both word of mouth and internet reviews. Hope all goes well.


Thanks for the advice but I belong to MyChart, a hospital portal where you can connect all hospitals, some labs, and pharmacies and clinics all together and you can pick and chose anything you want.

Problem is that my cardiologist has no portal and even my dentist is in the portal. My cardiovascular surgeon doesn’t have one.

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