Mayo Clinic Connect
‘I was born with a hole in my heart and have had 2 surgeries. One to fix hole and the other a valve replacement. I’ve been recently told the I have a thoracic aneurysm and possibly will need more surgery.. Anyone gone th ru this before?’?
I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing?
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Hi Colleen: Do we know what makes the Aortic Aneurysm expand? or stretch ? Mine is 4.3 and has been that since 2006.
I’m so sorry to hear how stressful this is for you and hope you are taking measures to manage the stress.
As for getting treatment at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Pochettino, an aortic surgery expert at Mayo would be happy to review your records to understand your situation and determine what type of cardiac surgery needs to be performed. To begin this process, please call Dr. Pochettino’s patient appointment secretary, Hope Nesbit at 507-255-2000. After determining what type of surgery is needed, Ms Nesbit will connect you to our business office to speak about insurance options.
Here’s a video Dr. Pochettino made explaining what patients need to know about aortic surgery https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3plTqJ9E4s
Here’s a quick read about the The 4 A’s when you find yourself stressing – Avoid, Alter, Accept and Adapt – http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044476?pg=1
I hope this helps. Keep talking with us. You’re not alone.
Your situation is similar to mine, a good amount of time between procedures. Your body has probably formed some scar tissue that has manifested itself on your chest cavity around the areas cut on. They will have to deal with this to get to the items needing repair. For instance my Aorta had fused itself to my Esophagus(sp). I was confused when they couldn’t give me a definitive time of how long the surgery would take. The variable was scar tissue, and each persons body responds differently. In-fact they knew at the time my Aortic Valve was leaking and only had 2 leaflets, where normal is 3. Just fixing the Aneurysm was all they had time to do. So today, I have a perfect Aorta, and will some day have to contend with the valve. If your left lung gets collapsed during the procedure for additional room for the Dr. to work, do all the treatments and rehab to rejuvenate the lung. Try your hardest. If you don’t it may not fully return. I’m dealing with a 50%+ reduction in lung capacity due to my two surgeries. I’m not sure I did all I could do to prevent this.
All the best.
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director
Good question @grandmajan.
This article from Mayo Clinic http://mayocl.in/2eL520R states “Many start small and stay small, although many expand over time. How quickly an aortic aneurysm may grow is difficult to predict.” Understanding the cause of the aneurysm can be a clue as to what causes it to grow, ie high blood pressure. It sounds like there is no single answer that applies to everyone, and explains why active monitoring is important.
Liked by Jim Morris
Colleen: Thank You for the information. That helps.
Thanks for your detailed response. Very helpful Couple of quick questions , if u don’t mind.
Where did u have your surgery and how long was it? How was the Post Op and how long was your total stay in hospital? Thanks again for your very helpful response. Will keep my fingers crossed re my surgery.
My first surgery was 1978 Montefura(sp) in New York City(We lived upstate New York, why I ended up there. I was 13 years old. Have no idea the procedure time, I was in the hospital for about 1.5 weeks.
My 2nd surgery was 2005, Memorial Herman, Houston Texas. Live ~200 miles away and the Cardiac Center has lots of recognition. I was lucky to be near well qualified help. My age was 49 years old. Surgery was about 5 hours, in Cardiac ICU for 2 days, and Cardiac Recovery for 18 days. First two days was like learning how to live again. I was cut radially following the rib-line, and one rib was removed permanently to allow the dr. sufficient room for doing the aneurysm repair. When they opened me up it was one big matted mess of scar tissue and organs. This was probably the major time consumer. The delta between the first surgery in 1978 and then allowed my body to grow lots of scar tissue. The extended stay at the hospital was due to my chest drainage not letting up. I had lots of incisions inside of me and they were all draining. This was not normal. I would think this would be different for you.
Couldn’t eat or swallow for 7 days after the surgery. Had me on TPN(Total Parental Nutrition) IV and I was never hungry. Wish I had an IV of that stuff at home for long movies like Dances With Wolves!
This surgery was the single most difficult task I have accomplished in my life.
Keep your chin up.
Thanks. Looks like you went thru a lot. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
I had surgery at Mayo in May, 2016. Had aneurysm repair and total arch replacement. All in all it was much less bad than I imagined. Surgery lasted for 6 hours, in ICU, I am told for 2 days-don’t remember much about that. Then in hospital for a total of 8 nights. Recovery went very well. Mayo gives pain meds if you need them and great care from kind and caring nurses. Looking back on the surgery, I never doubted it would be successful. From Mayo, I went directly home, about 500 miles away and haven’t looked back. No problems at home and then went to rehab. Good luck to you and hope you will have an easy recovery. I have such great faith in Mayo which gave me lots of confidence in the outcome.
With your overall good health, I would think your experience would be similar to mine. I was 72 years old at the time and had fairly good health.
Thanks. Very reassuring.
Once you have the surgery are we more at risk for more aneurysms? Is there any info on how long the replacement lasts?
Diagnosed with this 6 months ago. Just now starting to have minor chest pains. Have CT scan with contrast on Thursday …anyone else have this. What comes next? A little concerned. Thanks.
Your words so true…….I had all the confidence possible in Dr. Pochettino and my fractured ankle has caused me more problems than the aortic surgery! I’m 78 and came thru the surgery just fine, friends and relatives were amazed. Mayo nurses are wonderful. Was replying to the gentleman that stated how proficient the Mayo teams are in getting you back into a normal life.
Welcome back @morninglory. How are you doing? How did the cardiac rehab go?
I’m doing fine. I never had cardiac rehab as Medicare would not cover it because my aorta replacement did not go inside the heart, it was on the curve. Think it’s a strange decision as I was in open heart surgery for 10 hours. Tried contacting different sources but found no assistance regarding the lack of Medicare coverage. Broke my ankle hiking by falling into a nest of some kind covered by grasses. Hoping to start pulmonary function rehab soon as breathing has been an issue lately but I did go into my surgery with COPD to start with so am assuming this is not unusual. Onward and upward, can barely wait until I can start aoerbics again, missing the exercise classes so much.
Thank you for the post
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