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Ascending Aortic Aneurysm
Hello: I am a 49 year old female and I was diagnosed with an ascending aortic aneurysm in May of 2007 @ 4.3 CM.  I was put on blood pressure pills and told to get a CT scan every six months to a year.  I feel like a walking time bomb with no real guidance.  My cardiologist said if it dissects, I die.  Pretty cut and dry about it.  He had me do a cario cath in April of 2008. No real findings that I was told about but promptly put on 10 lbs I have not been able to loose. Then sent me to a rheumatologist to which he sent a report that I have had "two acute attacks of systemic sclerosis".  I have not been back to the cardiologist since.  The rheumatologist has done extensive blood tests etc. but does not feel I have systemic sclerosis (probably the opposite of it?) but still follows me and continues to do blood work etc.  He made me make an appointment with a new cardiologist whom I will see in a few days because I confessed to him I have not gone back to the other one or had my aneurysm checked in a year.  I am scared and have been for a couple of years now. Other than taking my blood pressure meds I don't know what to do or not.  And, am not sure about exercise/exertion, time frames, anything.  I don't know what to expect and information on the web is so iffy.  It would help me if I had some advice/knowledge on how to handle this all instead of worrying or being in denial.  I am afraid to have the heart surgery because I do not know what to expect or when to expect it.  I appreciate any wisdom that can be shared.  Thank you.
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Don't be afraid to have heart surgery if that is what the new cardiologist recommends.  You can check out a website and buy a book that will help give you inside information on what to expect with open heart surgery.  The website is: www.heart-valve-surgery.com  I know it talks alot about heart valve replacement surgery, but it will give you great information about open heart surgery.  I had to have the aortic valve replaced and a repair to my ascending aorta due to aneurysm in Sept 2008.  This book helped alot just by letting me know what to expect before and after the surgery.  If recommeded, surgery will save your life and is not as bad as you might expect.  It is the fear of not knowing what to expect that gets to you.
Good luck,
Cindy
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