1. I had thoracic aorta relacement surgery using a synthetic graft, May 2011. I've had ct scans since to check on enlarged lung nodes, which also scans the heart. Radiologists comment about fluid around the aorta.
Comment from one scan: There is a stable area of fluid density surrounding the ascending aorta. There is no aortic dissection. The central pulmonary arteries are unremarkable.
Comment from a different scan: There is an ovoid fluid type lucency around the entire aorta. It is rather smooth and sharply marginated from the aorta itself and appears post surgical in nature. Minimal thrombus formation is seen along the course of the descending aorta although there is no evidence of a dissection or active bleed. The pulmonary arteries are within normal limits.
COULD THIS FLUID BE A PROBLEM?
2. Are there side-effects to this type of surgery? I have since come down with severe rheumatoid arthritis.
It is hard for one to give you an accurate assessment of the situation without examining you or looking at the CT scans closely, but generally speaking, fluid collections around the heart or in the chest cavity may be normal post surgical changes. The important thing would be to continue to closely follow these collections and see if they increase in size or change in character over period of time.
It is very unlikely that the severe rheumatoid arthritis would be a direct complication of the aortic surgery. I don't have complete insight into your medical history but it is very likely that these may be likely coincidentally correlated in time.
Hope that helps
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