Follow-up questions after an aortic aneurysm repair surgery.

Posted by robert11 @robert11, Apr 4, 2016


First time Post.

Have recently had an aortic aneurism repair surgery.
Endovascular technique. All went well.

Apparently, there will need to be periodic followup visits, each with a CT Scan, to
check for stent leakage. Initially, after six months, then apparently each year or so.

I have had difficulty in understanding Surgeon’s answer (that “old age” problem),
and would be most appreciative for any information or thoughts on this:

a. I was told by the surgeon that if there is a stent leak, I would have absolutely no indication of it.
Would only show on the (new) next CT scan.

As the “new” CT scan could be six months, or a year away, if a leak develops right after a CT scan, what happens ?

Is it an Emergency situation ? Any indication at all ?

*But I wouldn’t, presumably, even know about it for “quite a while”, until the
next CT scan.

What happens ?

b. Concerned about all of the CT scans.

Surgeon said “only CT” but are there any new imaging techniques that you know about that would give images of the same quality and resolution, that wouldn’t be so
potentially harmful ? My understanding is that the metal in the stent precludes MRI, e.g.

Thanks; appreciate your thoughts,

@robert11, welcome to Connect.
Glad your aortic aneurysm repair surgery was a success.You ask some great questions with respect to follow up. I’m tagging Connect members @cynaburst, @johnwburns @lynnkay1956 @michellr @PatMattos @elsinann @HeartPatches to help answer your concerns about indications of a stent leak. I’m confident that they’ll share from their experiences with heart surgery.


Hi @robert11 ,

Thank you for sharing that with us. It can be very scary dealing with information from specialists that are sometimes vague and not comforting.

I’ve dealt with many surgeons with options to repair my arteries and the #1 concern is problems that could arise during and afterwards.

What your surgeon might of not of realized is that with his/her discussion with you, they may not of re-iterated that the surgery was a success and that with cases when you deal with arterial repairs or touch the arterial system at all, there’s always a chance for complications directly after the surgery. If your stitches for example release or break internally, inflammation, infection, and/or clotting risks – they won’t know this has happened until you show signs of bleeding internally and that the CT scan will tell them.

So what does this leave you with?
You need to make sure you pay close attention to signs, symptoms and your overall health, especially right after surgery. ANY complications small or large, go to the ER right away. Do not wait one second.

What signs would I be looking for?
– Abnormal rhythms in your heart
– Chest pain
– Bruising anywhere in the body (reddish/purple)
– Stiffness beyond normal parameters
– Swelling in your limbs
– Blood in your urine
– Blood in your stool
– Blood in vomit
– Infections

Basically, blood in general is a straight shot to the ER.

What to avoid?
– Traumatic events (falling, hitting your head, etc.)
– Stress
– Fatty foods

Have they put you on blood thinners? Have they discussed it with you?

I understand times like these can be very scary. To ease your mind, have a relative or friend come check up on you on a regular basis, if you need, give someone a key to your place just in case. It’s best to always have that support system who’s always checking in to ensure nothing has gone wrong.

I hope you have 0 complications and a healthy future ahead of you.
Good luck!

Martin R. Lemieux

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