Heart Disease Expert Forum
Normal Size of Abdominal Aorta
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Normal Size of Abdominal Aorta

My husband has a past history of CHF, now well controlled, however a brief onset of chest pain radiating to his back...recent thallium and pet stress scans were normal so a heart cath was performed this week and we were told that he has an enlarged aorta...  It currently measures 4.6cm and will need surgical intervention at 5.5 cm...they did not indicate an aneurysym or dissection evidence...however, we were advised to reduce stress and no lifting of more than 10 lbs.  We return to our Cardiovascular M.D. in about 2 weeks.  What advice can you offer and what further questions should I be ready to ask?  He is currently well controlled as far as fluid volume, b/p and cholesterol.  Thanks, Gina Sue
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Generally speaking, abdominal aortic aneurysms are operated on at a diameter of 5.5cm. It is important to keep your blood pressure well controlled. Smoking cessation (if you currently smoke) will be very important. Given this is a new diagnosis, you may want to speak with your doctor about re-imaging the enlarged aorta in 6 months to see if there has been any significant change in the size.
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