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Tue, Sep 3 12:26pm · Ascending Aortic Aneurysm and Exercise in Aortic Aneurysms

@cinnie The measurement of the aneurysm will be different depending on which test — echo or CT. One is measured on the bias and one is measured directly across. Also, different technicians might find different readings on the same test. So, your aneurysm may not be bigger at all.

Tue, Sep 3 6:26am · Aortic Aneurysms – Introduce yourself & meet others in Aortic Aneurysms

@ringyou57 Wow, that is great that they did the AVR and felt the aneurysm was too small to repair. So often the valve replacement and the aneurysm are repaired at the same time.

Mon, Sep 2 7:21pm · Aortic Aneurysms – Introduce yourself & meet others in Aortic Aneurysms

@perkman66 I think you are worrying too much about this aneurysm. (I know, the diagnosis is absolutely shocking!) Don't look for a surgeon but do find a well regarded cardio MD to monitor the size of the aneurysm. The cardio will keep an eye on how fast the aneurysm is growing, if at all, and will advise you if you need to find a surgeon and will probably have some good recommendations as to whom to see. Unless your aneurysm is quite unusual in the rate of growth, you may never need to find a surgeon.

Mon, Sep 2 12:35pm · AAA surgery in Aortic Aneurysms

@anniejam I don't think how physically fit we are determines who gets an aneurysm. I think genetics play a huge role. It is simply a weakness in the artery wall. It can be triggered by consistently high blood pressure or by smoking or by obesity but not everyone who has high blood pressure or who has smoked or has been obese develops this condition.

We also need to remember that as a population, we are living much longer and medical science can find these abnormalities much more easily than in the past. Before CTs and MRIs, I think the only way to find the aneurysm was by autopsy. We are fortunate to be aware of our diagnosis while we are still kicking and have it monitored and repaired as necessary.

Afib can strike just about anyone, with or without an aneurysm repair. There are medications to treat that and also ablations of the heart muscle that is causing the afib. I wish your friend well.

Mon, Sep 2 7:43am · Ascending Aortic Aneurysm and Exercise in Aortic Aneurysms

@anniejam I think you are on the right track, toning your muscles and developing your cardio fitness. But you might wish to give your MD a call just to assure this is OK for your particular health issues. If yes, this sounds like a marvelous way to stay in shape. Over time you will find the 3 lb weight is not so heavy and that you will feel up to walking a bit further. And one of the great things about joining a gym is making new friends.

Sun, Sep 1 11:56am · Ascending Aortic Aneurysm and Exercise in Aortic Aneurysms

@bryanfox Hi Bryan, You are much younger than I am and you are male so I think your weight lifting limits will be different than mine. You are on a beta blocker as am I. My blood pressure doesn't really get much higher when I do my cardio work out. I attribute that to the beta blocker (and I split the smallest dose tablet). I think your MD is giving you proper advice to continue your cardio as I don't think that is the issue. I would be careful about doing the" jerk and lift" moves I see at the gym. My feeling is that jerking the weight will place extra strain on the aneurysm but that is just my opinion. And I understand it is important to exhale when lifting, don't hold your breath as THAT will raise blood pressure. But you seem to be an experienced weight lifter and I am sure I am preaching to the choir here.

Sat, Aug 31 9:20am · Aortic Aneurysms – Introduce yourself & meet others in Aortic Aneurysms

@bryanfox I think your assessment is spot on. Another CT will give you two like tests to determine the rate of growth. If it is slow growing or not showing any enlargement at all, I agree, you will likely be switched to echos to reduce the amount of radiation.

I think you are on the right track for monitoring this health issue. You might want to get one of those fitness trackers to just monitor your BP when on the elliptical and talk to your cardio about what is a safe limit on the numbers while you are exercising. Also, I think part of the assessment of cardio fitness is how fast your BP and pulse return to normal when you get off the elliptical.

I wish you very good luck and as time goes by, you will recognize this is just something to be monitored, not a death sentence.


Sat, Aug 31 7:19am · Aortic Aneurysms – Introduce yourself & meet others in Aortic Aneurysms

@bryanfox Hi Bryan, Oh, I know what you are feeling and the fear and trepidation that the end is near. I've had the same diagnosis as you since 2007 and it was about 3.9 at diagnosis and now is about 4.2. My suggested limitation on lifting weights is 25 lbs. And that is to assure the aneurysm size doesn't enlarge. At the size of 4.3, the approach is to wait and watch. You are on a beta blocker so the pressure on the artery is controlled. I was told to continue with my daily cardio exercise on a strider which is similar to the elliptical but not to exert myself so that I am unable to carry on a conversation while exercising. The beta blocker keeps your blood pressure controlled and is kind of self limiting as it keeps your heart rate low.

You will likely be monitored every 6 months with an echocardiogram and every 2 or 3 years with a CT scan. Be aware that the measurements of these two tests are different. One measures on the bias and the other measures straight across. Also be aware that the technician doing the test can see the measurement differently. So, don't panic if the measurement increases a point or two as the aneurysm itself may not have changed size.

My advice is to follow your cardio's direction on limiting lifting, keep exercising, limit saturated fats and sugars, lose weight if that is an issue and if you smoke, it is imperative that you quit — immediately. And all of that said, Enjoy your life. This aneurysm, with proper treatment may never enlarge to the point of needing repair. And if it does grow, as much as none of us wants surgery, repair can be done.

What a shame it would be if having this aneurysm stole your enjoyment of life. Have fun, make plans and don't be consumed with unnecessary worry.

Best wishes