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. You can get started right away by clicking the +FOLLOW icon on the group landing page.

I’m Kanaaz (@kanaazpereira), and I’m the moderator of this group. When you join, you’ll also likely be welcomed by volunteer patient Mentors and fellow members. Learn more about Moderators and Mentors on Connect.

We’ve got 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?

I can't honestly recommend any person I haven't met and discussed my situation with. What I've done thus far was Google thoracic aortic aneurysm surgeons at the Mayo clinic in Scottsdale. The search results indicated a number of them. As I said in my earlier post, that if and when the time appears that I need to be more proactive about this, then I will ask my cardiologist for a referral and, at the same time show him my compiled list of Mayo surgeons and ask if he knows any of them. Based on personal reviews of the doctor's by other patients, I will make my choice, if my cardiologist is not familiar with anyone on the list. I hope this helps and know that this message board has some really good advice and encouragement.

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@kanaazpereira

Hi @DiannaTV @cynaburst @lynnkay1956 @jessicalatessa @HeartPatches @abster93 @elsinann @wangs @mariejnd @jend @teatime @jimmorris900 @glenys123 @mlan68 @janetpomponio @laverne @hopeful33250 @predictable @johnbishop @morningglory @thankful @ch246cf10 @ssams @kdh1 @playsdixie @mamamae @bobireland @trish602 @clevelandme @michellr @aldona @jbsb93 @axels @crhp194 @shakuni11 @janean @grandmajan @morgan44 @smithjss @srlove @jimmorgan @noram @aqs1 @pbr420 @lisaannhicks @redskin39 @hermthor @acara @worry,

I’d like to invite you to the new group dedicated to discussions about aneurysm conditions such as aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection, abdominal aortic aneurysm, abdominal aortic branch occlusion, aortic branch aneurysm, aortitis, thoracic aortic aneurysm, and more.
It’s a space where we can ask questions, share tips and learn about aortic aneurysms from each other. Please drop a note to say hi and introduce yourself.

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Hi, call me sid. I have been diagnosed with a n abdominal aortic aneurysm 3yrs ago, Initially at 3.8cm, as of today 4.5cm, it is really scary.

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Please keep us posted. I’m at 4.5 & nervous. Get checked often.

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I’m also at 4.5

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@juds

Please keep us posted. I’m at 4.5 & nervous. Get checked often.

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Yes, getting checked is a good idea for sure. I have a 4.5 ascending thoracic aneurysm and my cardiologist didn't ring any alarm bells. I had an ECHO in May and he said come back in a year for another one. Having done a lot of research on the topic, I responded with the fact that other individuals in the 4.5 range were having their aneurysms monitored every six months. He said we'd discuss it when I came back in six months. I see him in May 2020. Worrying about it will only stress you out and prevent you from enjoying life. When I don't dwell on it and imagine how much time I have left to live and will I be in pain if it ruptures and for how long and will I be going to heaven or hell (I don't really believe in a "hell"), then I stop and say to myself there is nothing for me to do but surrender to the inevitable. That inevitable is for everyone, including me! Live your life to the fullest and cultivate a philosophy which embraces life — not just physical existence, but spiritual existence as well. I feel fortunate that I know I have this and it could remain stable for years and years to come and so can yours. Take your blood pressure medication and do what your doctors tell you to do.

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@cheryl66

Hi Lynette,

Firstly, let me say that I am not a doctor or work in the medical field in any way. Due to an uderlying medical condition, I do have a lot of personal experience. That is a fairly quick progression, but as for size, you still have some room.

Do you have a job that requires lifting, do you work out rigorously? Those are things that you should not do. I always tell people with an active aneurysm not to lift anything that weighs more than a gallon of milk.

One other question. Did these measurements both come from CT or MRI scan? If so, what prompted the second scan so quickly?

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Im 62 years old, it was found doing a scan on heart and lungs Feb of last year. Since then i have been sitting on couch or in bed depressed and worried. It was 4 cm.
One ultra sound and 1 ct in dec…4.2.
On Feb 21 st this year, an exray was done on lower back, hurt myself , decided to do yard work. The aaa was measured at 4.7. Yes! Freaked me out! Going to see dr on March 17th….i want to do surgery and get it over with. I work part time, walk alot at work, no lifting tho. Thank yall…Lynette

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@lynetteirizarry

Hi, I have AAA Aneurysm at 4.7 cm, it has quickly grown since Dec scan from 4.2. I am very worried and have appointment at Baylor on March 17th 2020…because its growing quick do you think Dr will do surgery?

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Hello @lynetteirizarry,

I am glad that you posted your concerns on Mayo Connect. It is understandable to be worried about having surgery. I would like to direct you to a conversation on Connect where Members are discussing abdominal aortic aneurysms. Here is the link, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm/?pg=1#comment-18455.

Here also is an article from Mayo's website discussing AAA, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20023784

The article offers 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.

Have you had any symptoms of the AAA or did your doctor find it on routine screening for something else?

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@lynetteirizarry

Im 62 years old, it was found doing a scan on heart and lungs Feb of last year. Since then i have been sitting on couch or in bed depressed and worried. It was 4 cm.
One ultra sound and 1 ct in dec…4.2.
On Feb 21 st this year, an exray was done on lower back, hurt myself , decided to do yard work. The aaa was measured at 4.7. Yes! Freaked me out! Going to see dr on March 17th….i want to do surgery and get it over with. I work part time, walk alot at work, no lifting tho. Thank yall…Lynette

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Hello @lynetteirizarry,

From what I understand this type of surgery can be done by open, abdominal surgery or by endovascular repair. As you read the article, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20023784 you will see these two types of treatments described.

When you see your surgeon he/she should be able to suggest the best way for you to approach surgery.

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@lynetteirizarry

Im 62 years old, it was found doing a scan on heart and lungs Feb of last year. Since then i have been sitting on couch or in bed depressed and worried. It was 4 cm.
One ultra sound and 1 ct in dec…4.2.
On Feb 21 st this year, an exray was done on lower back, hurt myself , decided to do yard work. The aaa was measured at 4.7. Yes! Freaked me out! Going to see dr on March 17th….i want to do surgery and get it over with. I work part time, walk alot at work, no lifting tho. Thank yall…Lynette

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Hi Lynette, You have had many different tests with different results and I do understand how that can be so frightening. I think you need to see a specialist — probably a well regarded cardiologist or cardiovascular surgeon to review and sort all these reports and put things in perspective for you. Different tests show results from different angles and the numbers will therefore be different. Also, different technicians and radiologists can read tests differently. A cardiologist can assess the reports and give you the information you need.

This surgery is quite serious and I doubt a surgeon will recommend it before you actually need it and part of that determination is how big it is and how fast it is growing. I would not depend on my primary MD to assess these reports for you. Such an assessment and discussion might put your fears to rest as the aneurysm might be quite stable and down in the low 4. range which is a long way from needing surgery.

I wish you well and that you find the information which will bring you peace.

Donna

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@degarden_girl

Hi Lynette, You have had many different tests with different results and I do understand how that can be so frightening. I think you need to see a specialist — probably a well regarded cardiologist or cardiovascular surgeon to review and sort all these reports and put things in perspective for you. Different tests show results from different angles and the numbers will therefore be different. Also, different technicians and radiologists can read tests differently. A cardiologist can assess the reports and give you the information you need.

This surgery is quite serious and I doubt a surgeon will recommend it before you actually need it and part of that determination is how big it is and how fast it is growing. I would not depend on my primary MD to assess these reports for you. Such an assessment and discussion might put your fears to rest as the aneurysm might be quite stable and down in the low 4. range which is a long way from needing surgery.

I wish you well and that you find the information which will bring you peace.

Donna

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Thank you, Donna. I am seeing a Vascular dr and surgen. He is going to look at these pictures.

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@hopeful33250

Hello @lynetteirizarry,

From what I understand this type of surgery can be done by open, abdominal surgery or by endovascular repair. As you read the article, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20023784 you will see these two types of treatments described.

When you see your surgeon he/she should be able to suggest the best way for you to approach surgery.

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Thank you, Im hoping so!!

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@lynetteirizarry

Im 62 years old, it was found doing a scan on heart and lungs Feb of last year. Since then i have been sitting on couch or in bed depressed and worried. It was 4 cm.
One ultra sound and 1 ct in dec…4.2.
On Feb 21 st this year, an exray was done on lower back, hurt myself , decided to do yard work. The aaa was measured at 4.7. Yes! Freaked me out! Going to see dr on March 17th….i want to do surgery and get it over with. I work part time, walk alot at work, no lifting tho. Thank yall…Lynette

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As I said before, the science has increased greatly. I wouldn't say it is as simple as doing an apendectomy, but it is my understanding that there is now a procedure that does not require the big abdominal incision. I know your doctor will discuss the differences with you. Please don't sit around and be depressed. I know you are scared, but just thing of me when you get nervous. I don't remember what I said to you in my first post, but I have had two aneurysms, a complete aortic dissection down to the bottom of my diaphragm, and a complete aortic replacement in a 2 part surgery. My only point in telling you this is that these things are VERY survivable. The best thing you can do for yourself is to stay relaxed as possible. I know you are thinking easier said than done, but it really is crucial. You need to put a meditation app on your phone. It can help you when your anxiety starts to build. So…

1) Lower your stress. Do not try to do everything everyday. If it doesn't get done. TOUGH! It'll be there tomorrow. lol
2) Do not push, pull or lift. Even a heavy load of laundry. If you have to hold your breath to do it, then you shouldn't be doing it.

P.S. My aorta is at a 5.0. It has been this size since last October and I don't see my Cardio-Thoracic until April. He has already told my local cardiologist that he doesn't see the need to operate right now.

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@lynetteirizarry

Thank you, Donna. I am seeing a Vascular dr and surgen. He is going to look at these pictures.

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Hello @lynetteirizarry,

I hope you can post an update after your appointment with the vascular surgeon on the 17th.

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@twojunes2

Yes, getting checked is a good idea for sure. I have a 4.5 ascending thoracic aneurysm and my cardiologist didn't ring any alarm bells. I had an ECHO in May and he said come back in a year for another one. Having done a lot of research on the topic, I responded with the fact that other individuals in the 4.5 range were having their aneurysms monitored every six months. He said we'd discuss it when I came back in six months. I see him in May 2020. Worrying about it will only stress you out and prevent you from enjoying life. When I don't dwell on it and imagine how much time I have left to live and will I be in pain if it ruptures and for how long and will I be going to heaven or hell (I don't really believe in a "hell"), then I stop and say to myself there is nothing for me to do but surrender to the inevitable. That inevitable is for everyone, including me! Live your life to the fullest and cultivate a philosophy which embraces life — not just physical existence, but spiritual existence as well. I feel fortunate that I know I have this and it could remain stable for years and years to come and so can yours. Take your blood pressure medication and do what your doctors tell you to do.

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Hello @twojunes2, I appreciate the good work you have done in advocating for yourself with your doctor and seeking regular follow-ups. It is so important for us all to be our own patient advocates! I appreciate your philosophy of embracing life and surrendering to what is inevitable. You make some very good suggestions.

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@lynetteirizarry

Im 62 years old, it was found doing a scan on heart and lungs Feb of last year. Since then i have been sitting on couch or in bed depressed and worried. It was 4 cm.
One ultra sound and 1 ct in dec…4.2.
On Feb 21 st this year, an exray was done on lower back, hurt myself , decided to do yard work. The aaa was measured at 4.7. Yes! Freaked me out! Going to see dr on March 17th….i want to do surgery and get it over with. I work part time, walk alot at work, no lifting tho. Thank yall…Lynette

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Well, the virus put a hold on my March 17th app.,Dr should be back in office Monday, they told me WED at lastest they would let me know a plan…..

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