Aortic Aneurysms – Introduce yourself & meet others

Welcome to the Aortic Aneurysms group on Mayo Clinic Connect.

An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of the aorta. The aorta begins deep in the heart as it emerges from the powerful left ventricle, gently arching over the heart, descending into the chest, and finally into the abdomen. Some aortic aneurysms can be harmless; others can lead to catastrophic problems. I invite you to follow this group and connect with others, share experiences, exchange useful information, and learn about aortic aneurysms.

Get started rby clicking the +FOLLOW icon on the group page here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/aneurysms/

There are some great conversations going on right now that I think you’ll like. Grab a cup of tea, or beverage of your choice, and lets chat. Why not start by introducing yourself?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Aortic Aneurysms Support Group.

@yelsel

Hello I've just started following this group and have a question as the recently widowed 62 year old woman. My man died from a dissecting aorta in a matter of minutes. He had been feeling unwell and had pain in the Left side of his chest - on the side only! ECG was clear. Nothing else was looked into until he collapsed for the second time ( in hospital- where he had been in Energency for 12 hours) They did a CT then but it was too lste! Would a CT on arrival at emergency have shown anything prior to his collapse? As in would he have had an Aneurysm priop to dissection or is it usually just a spontaneous thing? I just want to know as I am not handling his passing too well and just want to know what actually happened so I can work it out in my own head? Thank you in advance to anyone that answers❣️

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Hello Yelsel. I am so very sorry for your devastating loss! No words can truly console that emptiness. Aneurysms dissect in numerous ways. They present symptoms differently from person to person. I have no answer for you. All of us here in this aneurysm group ask that same question, probably everyday, though we try not to ..... as it will consume us. We are continuously looking for explanations and strategies. You have experienced the worst outcome, and I think everyone reading this site probably is likely feeling your deeply seated pain and frustrations at some level, and the fear that goes forward. I hope you can move forward❤️

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Hello,
My name is Pam and I was diagnosed with a thoracic aorta aneurysm in April. My dad had one years ago. My doctor says they will check it again in a year. The size of mine is 4.2 I believe. I would like some feedback if anyone has some to offer.
Thanks
Pam

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Hi - I am a 77 year old female widow of two years, now living alone. I have been diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm, though they are monitoring it every six months with ultrasound. I had a 4-way bypass in 2020 and I also have leakage in the aortic valve with thickening. I’ve been experiencing some partial blindness when I bend over sporadically. My right carotid artery is 70% blocked and now my cardiologist is referring me to a vascular surgeon to clean out the artery. I live each day with thoughtfulness. I can’t exercise much due to pretty severe knee issues but stay as active as I can in my garden and around the house herding my cats. Any insight you have for these issues would be appreciated. Traveling via a jet is now a distant thought.

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Hello I've just started following this group and have a question as the recently widowed 62 year old woman. My man died from a dissecting aorta in a matter of minutes. He had been feeling unwell and had pain in the Left side of his chest - on the side only! ECG was clear. Nothing else was looked into until he collapsed for the second time ( in hospital- where he had been in Energency for 12 hours) They did a CT then but it was too lste! Would a CT on arrival at emergency have shown anything prior to his collapse? As in would he have had an Aneurysm priop to dissection or is it usually just a spontaneous thing? I just want to know as I am not handling his passing too well and just want to know what actually happened so I can work it out in my own head? Thank you in advance to anyone that answers❣️

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@jburgherr

Hello! I’m Jay. I’m a 62 year old man with a bicuspid aortic valve and now an aortic aneurysm. My hospital/Doctor patient portal announced the result from a Coronary Angiography CT scan from 2 days ago. I haven’t been contacted yet by my Cardiologist’s office with more information or a treatment plan yet. I don’t know the size of the aneurysm or what to expect. I’m just very nervous waiting and not knowing what the future holds. I haven’t told my wife yet as I don’t want her to worry needlessly before we have more facts.

I’m hoping to learn more how to live successfully with this new challenge. Not knowing how bad things are and if surgery is in my near future causes anxiety and fear…all the things that, I’m sure, are not good for my condition. It’s currently Saturday, so I don’t expect I’ll hear from the Cardiologist until Monday. So here I sit, waiting.

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I agree with the other feedback you received, I also have a bicuspid aortic valve and had an ascending aortic aneurysm which was discovered as I was being prep’ed for leg surgery at 54 years old (4 yrs ago). My aneurysm was large (5.2 cm) for my body size and needed to get it repaired as soon as feasibly possible. Found the best and most experienced surgeon in the Houston medical center, had my surgery and my life is back to normal. Need to watch my bicuspid valve every year as it will have to be replaced at some point (didn’t get replaced during the surgery as it was still highly functional). Find the most experienced cardiologist to monitor you, someone that specializes in aneurysms and bicuspid valves, and as the other person said eat healthy, stay active (don’t over exert and lift too much weight) and in good shape, but overall control your BP, that is paramount

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@jburgherr

Hello! I’m Jay. I’m a 62 year old man with a bicuspid aortic valve and now an aortic aneurysm. My hospital/Doctor patient portal announced the result from a Coronary Angiography CT scan from 2 days ago. I haven’t been contacted yet by my Cardiologist’s office with more information or a treatment plan yet. I don’t know the size of the aneurysm or what to expect. I’m just very nervous waiting and not knowing what the future holds. I haven’t told my wife yet as I don’t want her to worry needlessly before we have more facts.

I’m hoping to learn more how to live successfully with this new challenge. Not knowing how bad things are and if surgery is in my near future causes anxiety and fear…all the things that, I’m sure, are not good for my condition. It’s currently Saturday, so I don’t expect I’ll hear from the Cardiologist until Monday. So here I sit, waiting.

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Hey there. I'm a survivor of a complete Type A ascending aortic arch dissection. You're going to be fine. Just stay on top of your cardiologist and get a second opinion from a thoracic surgeon who has done lots of aortic repairs. Look for someone with gray hair. Depending on the current size of the aneurysm, they may just watch and wait. Otherwise, if they recommend surgery do it. You won't get the chance to do it is you have a complete dissection. I dissected suddenly at 50 years old. I barely survived and it was a real personal, medical, and professional disaster. If I knew in advance what was coming I would have done the surgery 100 times out of 100. For you: Just relax. No smoking, drinking, heavy lifting or running for now until you know where you're at. I am 9 years post-surgery and I am thankful for every day I have had since June 28, 2015. You're in good hands, but make sure you push your doctors to get appointments and stay in the city--don't get on any long-haul flights or go to the Boundary Waters right now. Stay within 30 minutes of Mayo or a Mayo-like facility where you live. An aortic dissection is incredibly painful and feels like someone is peeling the skin off of your back. It's sudden and you cannot wait to call 911. In short, relax. You'll be fine, but don't wait to get in ot the doc and don't hesitate to call an ambulance if you feel chest pain/back pain. And, tell you spouse today. She needs to know so that she can prepare. It's super stressful, but better that she's looped in before anything happens. Peace.

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Hello everyone, I’m Kelly, a 68 year old retired guy, married and monitoring an abdominal aortic aneurysm every 5-6 months since 2022, the latest CT reading 4.4cm in January 2024, up from a 4.2cm ultrasound reading in August 2023. My first question is about ultrasound vs CT. For some unknown reason, my private insurance insisted on ultrasound in 2023, even after multiple previous CT’s. I retired in January 2024 and had the CT with Medicare. I have since changed doctors and the new doctor says he prefers ultrasound, as it “Gives a bigger picture” (His words). Is ultrasound really as accurate as CT in measuring abdominal aortic aneurysm? I ask because the doctor who ordered the previous scans wanted a CT scan in 2023 and fought unsuccessfully with the insurance about it. Anyone knowledgeable about this comparison?

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Hello! I’m Jay. I’m a 62 year old man with a bicuspid aortic valve and now an aortic aneurysm. My hospital/Doctor patient portal announced the result from a Coronary Angiography CT scan from 2 days ago. I haven’t been contacted yet by my Cardiologist’s office with more information or a treatment plan yet. I don’t know the size of the aneurysm or what to expect. I’m just very nervous waiting and not knowing what the future holds. I haven’t told my wife yet as I don’t want her to worry needlessly before we have more facts.

I’m hoping to learn more how to live successfully with this new challenge. Not knowing how bad things are and if surgery is in my near future causes anxiety and fear…all the things that, I’m sure, are not good for my condition. It’s currently Saturday, so I don’t expect I’ll hear from the Cardiologist until Monday. So here I sit, waiting.

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Hi my name is susie.i have a 4 2 aorta anurism and artherscorosis and I am scared of this anurism I really don't know how to act or what to do in my my daily life. I am 70

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@srmike

I agree that there is nothing wrong with getting a 2nd opinion. 4.0 to 4.3cm in a year is not that dire and you are still far below the usual 5.5cm which is where most institutions recommend surgery (Cleveland Clinic is more conservative and recommends surgery for ascending aortic aneurysms at 5.0 cm). Still, for your peace of mind try to get a recommendation for that 2nd opinion. You may even want to consult a cardiac surgeon WHO HAS EXPERIECE DOING THIS TYPE OF SURGERY!! My ascending aortic aneurysm is 4.8 having grown from 4.5 in 2 years. Because my cardiologist is at Cleveland Clinic and they use the 5.0cm criterion, I now have CT angio every 6 months. At another institution which uses the 5.5cm determination maybe they would, like in your situation, wait a year. I hope this helps even just a little bit. Michael

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It does help. Thank you for taking the time share what you have learned and your experience.

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