New Diagnosis - ascending aorta aneurysm

Posted by laverne @laverne, Dec 4, 2016

“Incidentental finding ” of a 4.2 CM ascending aorta aneurysm on a CT. I am 66 . My Doctor plans f/u CT in March, started me on a 3rd blood pressure pill and cholesterol med to gain better control, told to continue treadmill and free weights at the gym I joined before the diagnosis and said life as usual. Why am I still panicky?? Can this be right?

Hello @laverne, I’m so glad to see that you just joined Mayo Connect, welcome! I understand how panicky we can get when these “incidental findings” are discussed. Waiting until March for a follow up scan seems like a long time when you are thinking about an ascending aorta aneurysm. Don’t forget that it is always OK to get a second opinion. If you have a university or large research hospital in your area, that is a good place to start. Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. Mayo Connect is a great online community for people who have health concerns. Best wishes!

Really out of my comfort zone. Small community along the east coat South Carolina. I don’t know healthcare here. MUSC in Charleston and DUKE in North Carolina. Really like my internal med Doctor and she has scheduled me with a cardiologist but not until March too. She is very laid back about it. More anxious now:(

@laverne

Really out of my comfort zone. Small community along the east coat South Carolina. I don’t know healthcare here. MUSC in Charleston and DUKE in North Carolina. Really like my internal med Doctor and she has scheduled me with a cardiologist but not until March too. She is very laid back about it. More anxious now:(

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Hi @laverne, There was a time when I was facing vocal cord surgery and I wanted the “best of the best.” Well, I live in SE Michigan and I found out that Cleveland Clinic was the best place, however, it too was out of my comfort zone. So, I enlisted the help of a friend and then family members to drive with me (or drive me). It was worth it! Think about who could be supportive of you. You can still keep your internist, just to get a second opinion on the heart issue. Give it some thought. If you are concerned and worried, it is important to be proactive and become your own patient advocate.

Thank you so much!

Hi Laverne, I wanted to add my welcome. I’m thrilled to see you’ve connected with Teresa.
I’d also like to bring in other members who may have experiences to share. Please meet @morninglory @elsinann @teatime @thegoodwife @thankful and @ch246cf10.

Laverne, did you see these related Connect discussions?
– Thoracic aortic aneurysm http://mayocl.in/2bC9oIY
– Large ascending aorta in young healthy 45 year old woman http://mayocl.in/2gwDknX

I joined this group today. I am a 73 YO female and have a lot of heart issues that worry me: CAD, Valvular Disease (aortic and mitral), ascending aortic aneurysm (3.9 CM as measured on an echo). The CAD was diagnosed 11 years ago through a calcium scan and then I began treatment with a cardio and had all the usual tests. I guess I am most concerned about having a heart attack and not know what is happening as the female experience is so different from that of males. I am also worried that I will be in a situation where immediate treatment is not available, such as on a plane or while riding a bike on a trail. I am appreciating reading the experiences of others with similar diagnosis's.

Hi Laverne,
I think I would be careful of the free weights: I was told not to lift more than 25 lbs. It is my understanding that the CT scan measures the aneurysm on the bias (and will measure larger) and the echo measures it straight across the artery. To limit the amount of radiation you are getting, you may wish to discuss having the monitoring done via echos. Hopefully the aneurysm will be stable.

Diagnosed with BAV and a 5.4cm aortic aneurysm. It was found during treatment for something else. I decided I wanted a second opinion and was referred to Mayo Clinic. In 9 days I will be having a CT Scan, Echo and labs done. Consult with the surgeon will follow. I am very anxious. I've never even had a broken bone or anything serious happen to me.

@debbydiane

Diagnosed with BAV and a 5.4cm aortic aneurysm. It was found during treatment for something else. I decided I wanted a second opinion and was referred to Mayo Clinic. In 9 days I will be having a CT Scan, Echo and labs done. Consult with the surgeon will follow. I am very anxious. I've never even had a broken bone or anything serious happen to me.

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Please don’t worry too much. Mayo’s heart and vascular doctors are the very best. I had a large aneurysm and even before I finished the tests like yours, I was scheduled for surgery. Not only are the surgeons so very skilled, they are also extremely kind and caring. I had no problems and the recovery was not nearly as painful or as bad as I thought it would be. Take care and good luck to you. You are in wonderful hands!

@debbydiane

Diagnosed with BAV and a 5.4cm aortic aneurysm. It was found during treatment for something else. I decided I wanted a second opinion and was referred to Mayo Clinic. In 9 days I will be having a CT Scan, Echo and labs done. Consult with the surgeon will follow. I am very anxious. I've never even had a broken bone or anything serious happen to me.

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Please try not to be too anxious. Thank goodness you found it when you did. Sounds like you're in good hands now. Keep us posted on how you're doing and let us know how you make out after your tests. I was diagnosed in 2012. Mine was 4.1 cm in 2012 and is now 4.3-4.5 cm. I am going back the end of September for six month check up again. Another CAT scan or echo. Please don't worry and keep us posted on how you're doing it's good to hear from people. It helps all of us when we talk about it I think.

@debbydiane

Diagnosed with BAV and a 5.4cm aortic aneurysm. It was found during treatment for something else. I decided I wanted a second opinion and was referred to Mayo Clinic. In 9 days I will be having a CT Scan, Echo and labs done. Consult with the surgeon will follow. I am very anxious. I've never even had a broken bone or anything serious happen to me.

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Hello @debbydiane and welcome to Mayo Connect,

Your concern regarding your new diagnosis is certainly understandable! I am very glad to hear that you will be getting a follow-up at Mayo. You will undoubtedly get a good work up and second opinion. Your anxiety is normal, but I'm sure once you meet the doctors and medical team at Mayo, you feel more assured by them on the right approach to take.

If you are comfortable sharing more: Were you having any symptoms before this was found? Is there a history of this type of problem in your family?

I look forward to hearing from you after your appointment or before then if you feel a need to talk and share your concerns.

Teresa

@debbydiane

Diagnosed with BAV and a 5.4cm aortic aneurysm. It was found during treatment for something else. I decided I wanted a second opinion and was referred to Mayo Clinic. In 9 days I will be having a CT Scan, Echo and labs done. Consult with the surgeon will follow. I am very anxious. I've never even had a broken bone or anything serious happen to me.

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This is quite a surprise for you. And your MDs will move quickly on this. You are right not to take it lightly, and be wise to consult on the big surgery or to have it stented. If you are a senior citizen, the stent is more annoying to monitor but the placement is less trauma on your body. Take someone with you on your appointments. Being calm and problem solving will is the best. You need someone in the hospital with you and then at home until you are able. Best wishes

Thanks everyone. I do wish I could go to Mayo Clinic . I am up in Canada and really hope the doctor is up on all this. I will do my best not to worry to much. Follow up is in October. I am 63 and in reasonable condition, non smoker no hypertension, a little high cholesterol and maybe 10 lbs over weight. I will do my best to follow all instructions. I guess if abdominal pain returns I will just be a thorn in the doctors side. LOL

@debbydiane

Diagnosed with BAV and a 5.4cm aortic aneurysm. It was found during treatment for something else. I decided I wanted a second opinion and was referred to Mayo Clinic. In 9 days I will be having a CT Scan, Echo and labs done. Consult with the surgeon will follow. I am very anxious. I've never even had a broken bone or anything serious happen to me.

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Hello Theresa there is no family history I am aware of. I keep trying to figure it out too. No hypertension non smoker. Not very overweight maybe 10lbs cholesterol is my only negative side.
It doesn’t make sense. I have had abdominal pains off and on for a couple years. It comes and goes. It was an odd chest type pain that felt worse when I leaned forward that took me to the Er and all the tests started then. It is unsettling thinking nothing is to be done other than monitoring. Because you don’t really know what’s happening inside. Oh well. It is what is

@janet26

Thanks everyone. I do wish I could go to Mayo Clinic . I am up in Canada and really hope the doctor is up on all this. I will do my best not to worry to much. Follow up is in October. I am 63 and in reasonable condition, non smoker no hypertension, a little high cholesterol and maybe 10 lbs over weight. I will do my best to follow all instructions. I guess if abdominal pain returns I will just be a thorn in the doctors side. LOL

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Hello @janet26

When you see your doctor in October for a follow up bring a list of questions/concerns that you have. This will help make your appointment more efficient.

Also, I noticed in a previous post that you wrote: "he wants me to start on a cholesterol lowering drug at very low levels with gradual increase in hopes to strengthen artery walls and a lus dose asa." Perhaps this is the reason for the wait? You might ask that question.
Feel free to specifically ask when is the appropriate time to have surgery or other treatment for this condition.

I certainly can understand your concerns. I hope your next appointment will give you some answers that will put your mind at ease and help you through this waiting period.

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

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