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?

@ch246cf10

Hello Morninglory,
Is your incision around the side of your body following your rib line or at the front thru the sternum. Mine was around the side, and they took out 1 rib.

Bruce
Texas

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In the front thru the sternum, can barely see scar.

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@cobweb

i am also 78 and a 4.8 aorta aneurysm was found in october , size 4.8 . Was told 5.0 is the number to consider surgery. May i ask how long your recovery was so you can get back to normal? I am in good shape and continue to work out so i have finally stopped fretting, controlling the stress and do periodic testing.

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I really cannot remember how long recovery took, I do remember it was a few weeks before I could walk up stairs at a normal speed. I have never returned to my weight lifting training but that is due to my COPD problems not a result of the surgery. Exercise classes at the Y started about a month or two after surgery. Am told my recovery was quite fast considering my age and it was credited it to my having been in Y classes on a regular basis for the previous years. I give much of the credit to my surgeon and his staff as I had great confidence in them and I do believe that helped me a great deal. I expected nothing but the best result and that is what I got.

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I had the open surgery at Mayo at age 72 and while I was scared, everythng worked out very well. Went home after 8 nights and did very well. I was in the hospital a bit longer than most because my oxygen levels dropped at night. Had oxygen at home at night which was very easy to do for about a week.
I could do most anything after two weeks but didn’t exercise until four weeks after the surgery. At that time, I was enrolled in cardiac rehab and had no problems. Try not to worry as there are good answers in the medical community should your aneurysm grow. Best to you.

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@morninglory

In the front thru the sternum, can barely see scar.

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You bounced back quickly and that was a blessing. My last heart surgery was thru the sternum too and it was just 5 days in the hospital and no pain past those 5 days. Just took tylenol. Exercise if you can every day. Do something to stay fit.

I had an aortic aneurysm in 2005 and it was a tough surgery. Opened around the side, not thru the sternum. The doctors that repaired the aneurysm just recently contacted me and advised I need to be regularly screened for more aneurysms. I'm at risk for more. Guess it is a genetic thing. I sent them my scans last month and expect a report back from them in the next week or so. They are a research hospital: University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston Texas & Memorial Herman Hospital. Don't miss your checkups.

All the best.

Bruce
Texas

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@ch246cf10

You bounced back quickly and that was a blessing. My last heart surgery was thru the sternum too and it was just 5 days in the hospital and no pain past those 5 days. Just took tylenol. Exercise if you can every day. Do something to stay fit.

I had an aortic aneurysm in 2005 and it was a tough surgery. Opened around the side, not thru the sternum. The doctors that repaired the aneurysm just recently contacted me and advised I need to be regularly screened for more aneurysms. I'm at risk for more. Guess it is a genetic thing. I sent them my scans last month and expect a report back from them in the next week or so. They are a research hospital: University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston Texas & Memorial Herman Hospital. Don't miss your checkups.

All the best.

Bruce
Texas

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I am checked once a year and so far so good. Am in 4 exercise classes per week and plan on staying in them for good. Good luck on your scan reports.

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I was being treated for PAC and they found my 4.4 cm dilated ascending aorta in August 2016. Just had another CT scan and it is stable.

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I'm glad it is stable!

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@morninglory

I am checked once a year and so far so good. Am in 4 exercise classes per week and plan on staying in them for good. Good luck on your scan reports.

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I just returned from my first visit with the cardio/thoracic surgeon. He gave me good news that my ascending aortic aneurysm is 3.9 and technically not at the 4.0 stage for a true aneurysm. But I will get the echo cardio gram and another CAT scan in a year to see if it is stable. He assured me that there really is only a 3% chance of it rupturing at this level. And of course as the centimeters increase so does the chances. But they still do not do surgery until 6 cm because there is a greater risk of rupture than the surgery. So I am content to just get my yearly screenings and he said there is a great chance that I will never be operated on but you have to be vigilant with your check ups. And not lift over 30 pounds, but continue to do aerobic exercise !

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That's wonderful, @maryswims, I'm so pleased for you!

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@hopeful33250

That's wonderful, @maryswims, I'm so pleased for you!

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Sounds like very good news for you. Just always follow up with the screenings and stay active. Stay positive too, I really believe that helps.

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Has anyone discovered effective techniques or treatments to keep the size of the aneurism stable?

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i discovered have a large one and the stress was ding me no good. I am now working out a lot, cutting my lifting of objects to under 25 pounds and watching my BP. As i say don't turn around as something may be following me with a black robe . I know its hard but try and alleviate your stress.

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@staystable

Has anyone discovered effective techniques or treatments to keep the size of the aneurism stable?

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Hello @staystable

As you undoubtedly know, at Mayo Connect we cannot answer medical questions, we can just share our experiences, patient-to-patient.
You've asked an interesting question. In your first post, you mentioned that maintaining a healthy blood pressure is important. Lifestyle changes and blood pressure meds are very helpful in controlling blood pressure. How are you doing with that? Do you exercise and follow a dietary plan that promotes healthy blood pressure?

If you care to share more, what is the size of your aneurysm? Have you asked your doctor this question, about how to keep the size of the aneurysm stable? If not, this might be a good first step.

I look forward to hearing how you are doing. Will you post again?

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@hopeful33250

Hello @staystable

As you undoubtedly know, at Mayo Connect we cannot answer medical questions, we can just share our experiences, patient-to-patient.
You've asked an interesting question. In your first post, you mentioned that maintaining a healthy blood pressure is important. Lifestyle changes and blood pressure meds are very helpful in controlling blood pressure. How are you doing with that? Do you exercise and follow a dietary plan that promotes healthy blood pressure?

If you care to share more, what is the size of your aneurysm? Have you asked your doctor this question, about how to keep the size of the aneurysm stable? If not, this might be a good first step.

I look forward to hearing how you are doing. Will you post again?

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size is 4.8, aorta, i exercise a lot, do lite lifting in my exercise, monitor my BP, drink very little alcohol, and continue what i have always down , only in moderation, i am 78, feel like 50, and try and watch my weight. Now that spring is here , looking forward to gardening, biking, golf etc. L have talked with 3 Drs and they all say the same. When i first found it i said lets do the operation, but was advised that operations have consequences and just watch it. Having my next scan in may, so hopefully i can continue my summer golf etc.

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@cobweb

size is 4.8, aorta, i exercise a lot, do lite lifting in my exercise, monitor my BP, drink very little alcohol, and continue what i have always down , only in moderation, i am 78, feel like 50, and try and watch my weight. Now that spring is here , looking forward to gardening, biking, golf etc. L have talked with 3 Drs and they all say the same. When i first found it i said lets do the operation, but was advised that operations have consequences and just watch it. Having my next scan in may, so hopefully i can continue my summer golf etc.

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Hello @cobweb,

I hope that @staystable reads your post. It sounds like you are doing wonderful and taking good care of yourself. You have made a good case for living a healthy lifestyle! What type of scan do they use to check the aneurysm, is a CT scan or something else?

I look forward to hearing from you again. Will you post again after your scan in May and provide an update?

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