Hello. I am posting this comment for my father who is a 53 year old man with a descending aorta aneurysm. He has been diagnosed with this problem in 2006. The aorta was expanded 4.4 cm. Years later, now in 2010, his aorta is at a 4.9. He has been taking betablockers for 10 years. He has recieved three opinions. The first regular cardiologist said the operation is risky, and he should wait a year and re-check it. The next two doctors, who were both surgeons suggested to do he surgery soon, before it reaches a 5.0. He does have a stressful lifestyle, and is overweight about 20 pounds. He is in the process of losing weight. I would love for some advice from those people who have got the surgery and have been successful...please any advice would be helpful! We are looking for support groups to hear about personal stories, and we need to make the decision if we should go ahead with surgery or wait it out. PLEASE HELP :) THANK YOU!!!
5.0 is the number my Dad's cardiologist suggested for surgical intervention. Your Dad has the descending vs the ascending. The descending is supposedly safer and has a better prognosis than ascending. Our advice came from Hershey Medical Center in PA. It's a tough decision your Dad needs to make. I don't believe that minimizing the risk factor will be helpful at this point. I don't have a vote here but I have been through a bleed with a family member. You don't want to choose this path, from my experience. Good luck and God Bless!
My mom had a descending aortic aneurysm repaired in 2006. She had hers repaired at the Cleveland Clinic. They repaired the aneurysm endovascularly. It was awsome. She only spent a couple days in the hospital and did great after. It is a serious surgery no matter what happens, but we had a great experience.
In 2009 she had an abdominal aortic aneurysm repaired (also at the Cleveland Clinic). Because of the location of this aneurysm, it was not able to be repaired endovascularly. She had an open repair and it was a much more difficult surgery witha much longer recovery.
Were any of the doctors your father consulted with vascular surgeons? That is who did my mom's surgery. I also really recommed going to a large hospital that has a reputation for doing these surgeries. My mom's cardiologist told her before the surgery that she could have it done at our local hospital but why would we do that when we could go somewhere where they do these all the time. The doctors have just so much more experience.
As for when to have the surgery it is really a judgement call. They say that when an aneurysm reached 5-6cm the risk of rupture is greater than the risk of surgery. They are both risky so you really need to have a doctor you can depend on. Best of luck to you! Laura :)
I forgot to mention, if they do not do the surgery right away getting into better shape can only help in recovery. My mom was a smoker and they recommended waited 3-6 months after she quit smoking but at that point her aneurysm was over 6 cm and the vascular surgeon did not want to wait. She ended up having lung problems after the surgery. So, if your dad can loose some weight or eat healthier or whatever that can make him stronger can not hurt. (Do not have him do any major exercise without the doctors ok!) The better shape he is in, the better the outcome from surgery!
My Grandma had the surgery for her descending aortic anerurysm a little over two months ago and she is doing fine now. It was a sudden thing and we didn't learn about it till it was almost too late. Not to mention she had a bypass surgery about five months earlier in August 2011. She was coughing up blood for a long time before her bypass and we thought the bypass would've fixed it, but it ended up getting really bad. Blood began to pour out of her mouth for the first time on New Year's Day, so much blood that it looked like a crime scene. New Year's Day she was sent to Baylor Hospital (any other time it was Methodist Hospital). It happened again the very next day, Jan. 2, 2012. We didn't learn about the actual aneurysm till the day of the surgery (Jan. 3, 2011). The doctor performing the surgery said she was very lucky to be alive and if she had another attack where the blood poured out she would've most likely died and it was by God's grace that she stayed alive. It turned out that the aneurysm would open up and cause the blood to pour out. A stent covered in plastic (most stents look like fences and don't have a plastic coating) was placed in the aorta where the aneurysm was. It was scary, but she's doing really good now and is no longer coughing up blood. She has another aneurysm, but it's small and the doctors will check up on it and if it gets bad she'll get another stent.
If you have any questions than feel free to ask away.
It took a lot of prayer and God's grace that it was found.
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