Ascending Thoracic Aorta Aneurysm, Part 1 of 2 - CLOSED

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docjunny
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/13/2009 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with 4.5 cm ascending aortic aneurysm a month ago following a CT scan for a Calcium Score Screening Test.  On December 10 I had an consult with my cardiologist and he performed an echo-sonogram in his office.  The sonogram measured my aneurysm at 4.3cm instead of 4.5 cm; which was of some relief.  The CT scan is probably more accurate; but at least the sonogram didn't show something larger. My cardiologist said that since the ascending aortic artery is the largest artery in the body, that it has the least chance of a rupture, until it gets around 6.0+cm's.  The most important thing we can do to prevent the aneurysm from getting larger is to reduce the stress on the aortic walls of the aneurysm.  We can do that by reducing and/or controlling our blood pressure level.  We can do that by reducing the cholesterol level in our blood to avoid plaque build up in our arteries; together with heart healthy diet and a routine exercise program.  We need to avoid eating a lot of meat, because of the animal fats therein that contribute to placque  buildup; and avoid most of the dairy products and egg yokes for the same reasons.  The aortic anerurysm will not get smaller if we do all the things recommended above; but it may not get much larger; and if it does, it will take years to do so, before we would need surgery.  So, I feel a lot better about my situation.  I am to go back in 6 months for another CT scan and echo-sonogram.  Hopefully, at that time I will be able to give you a successful report on my progress of trying to control the aneurysm.  I hope this info is of some comfort and assurance to you. 
 
docjunny

docjunny
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/13/2009 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
dyky71:
 
What's the status of your aneurysm following your April 2007 post?
 
docjunny

Hoorn
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/26/2009 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kitt,
 
Thanks for sending the information.
In the mean time my wife has gone through a large series of pre-op test and we have now learned that the ascending aneurysm is close to 6 cm. Also the aorta valve is not how it should be and therefore she is now on beta blockers and scheduled for surgery on 11 January. Se will then receive a Bentall procedure where both the valve and aorta will be replaced as a single unit.
 
I will keep you updated on further developments.
 
Best regards,,
 
Andre

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/28/2009 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell. Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us. It is a great thing to share your experience and hearing how others do is always helpful and supportive to the members of this forum.



I know others feel the same way I do about the sharing of your own life experience.



Again welcome and thank you so much.



Happy New Year.



Kitt

Braindaed
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 12/30/2009 2:42 AM (GMT -6)   

I hate to mention this but there are these little thingies called MMP-9s that when elevated like to eat ELASTIN in the artery walls. This(ELASTIN) is the elastic stuff (rubber band like stuff) that flexes and keeps artery walls together.

Appears that in many cases plaque on artery walls leads to inflammation of the artery tissue wall underneath it and this is when the MMP-9s show up and try to "eat this damaged tissue and get it replaced with healthy new stuff" however once the ELASTIN is gone/severely damaged the structural integrity of the artery wall is gone - BANG - you got an  aortic aneurism.

If you can lower the MMP-9s then you can slow and maybe stop aneurism growth.

Getting rid of any source of arterial inflammation would be GREAT. But that would probably

 take a long time. Raising HDL to VERY HIGH level (i.e 65+) is probably the best way to do this.

This kind of HDL elevation is more difficult for men.

 I finally have gotten mine to 73 last week with good levels 0f 70, 72, 76, 74 in the last two years.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12530550?

 (I take 100 MG twice a day)   

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19892350? 

(I take 8 mg daily)

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1291482?

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120? 

MUST get tumeric(curcumin) with peperine to increase absorption by 2000% to be effective.                                                                         

One cardiac event and one stent in 1998 made this a high priority for me.

ALL plaque appears to be gone when fancy thallium CAT scan was recently done.

 Send me some email or start a new thread and I can elaborate on this.

I have found that there are some THINGIES that lower MMP-9s a TAD.

Things that reduce MMP-9s (AKA gelatinase B)



QUERCETIN..........................REDUCES MMP-9s

VIT D3 .................................REDUCES MMP-9s

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12454321?

RESVERATROL (Grape Skin Extract) ...REDUCES MMP-9s
(NOT GRAPE SEED EXTRACT)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14627504?

GREEN TEA EXTRACT(EGCGs)... REDUCES MMP-9s

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10719174?


ALPHA LIPOIC ACID (R-lipoic/ R-Dihdro-LipoicAcid) ... REDUCES MMP-9s

NAC N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine .......REDUCES MMP-9s

STATIN DRUGS (i.e Zocor) .....REDUCES MMP-9s

Minocycline/Doxycycline.........REDUCES MMP-9s

Curcumin.............................REDUCES MMP-9s

Pycnogenol (Pine bark extract)..REDUCES MMP-9s


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14990359?



Chondroitin sulfate (CS) and CS plus glucosamine sulfate (GS) ..REDUCES MMP-9s

You might want to research this yourself and take the info you collect to your doctor.

There are many diseases in which MMP-9s do big time damages (arthritis (both kinds), Multiple Sclerosis)

The general feeling is that "They(MMPs) are the GOOD GUYS gone BAD".

I have seem some studies that report that the antibiotic Minocycline has been shown effective in slowing aneurism growth. There are some other things that lower MMP-9s like Omega 3s and steroids but increase in bleeding and side effects seem to be a big problem with them.

There are other drugs like Calcium Channel blockers that lower MMP-9s but I have no info on actual use of these.

I cannot state the actual amounts of these supplements to be effective.

 But I would say that you would need to take some green tea extract because I think it takes about 8 to 10 cups of green/white tea. I would still enjoy a cup or two tea each day.

So folks check out MMP-9s and aneurisms on the internet and talk it over with your doctor.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15119978?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10664501?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10415728?

This is NOT a CURE or a FIX, just a simple suggestion of a way to lower the severity until you get a permanent fix.


Braindaed

Post Edited (Braindaed) : 12/30/2009 2:20:29 AM (GMT-7)

Edit:  Please do not copy and paste long weblinks as they strecth the screen.  Break them down to prevent this.  Thank you,

Kitt

 

Post Edited (Braindaed) : 1/13/2010 11:47:24 AM (GMT-7)


rFergus
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/17/2010 12:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with a 4.5 cm ascending aortic aneurysm in December/2008, following a CT scan of the chest. Follow up test with my Cardiologists (Echo, Cardiac CT, Stress) (Feb 2009) confirmed a 4.5 cm aneurysm on a 3cm aorta. No valve involvement, arteries were as clean as they could ask for. We are on the annual watch, will have a Cardiac CT in Feb and see if there is any growth, etc.. I have had High BP for years, and try to keep if controled now. Need to lose weight-down 10#'s the past 6 months. I am 69 years old, 70 in May. I have worked in and around Healthcare for 45 years, Radiology in particular and I fully understand the procedure. The waiting is a little frustrating / not knowing how fast the aneurysm might be growing, but there is not much you can do about it. I try to live my life for today. I feel good and do what my body lets me . I believe that God whill make the decision as to where this path leads and I will just enjoy each day as it comes.
Retired, I like to joke to everyone that "Every Day is Saturday"
I am fortunate to have found this aneurysm at this stage, than in an emergency situation. God Bless everyone who is in this situation. Try to be positive, get informed and enjoy life.

cello
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 2/12/2010 9:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm 76 years old, I was diagnosed with an ascending aortic aneurysm of 5 cm in 2007, they watched me the whole 2008 with MRI's every 6 months, in 2009 the aneurysm had grown to 5 5cm. and the doctor recommended surgery. I had the surgery in March of 2009 and after six months I felt back to normal to the point that I could  play tennis again. In September 2009 I drove cross country and started Art School. So far, my life appears to be fine. The worst that can happen to someone with an aneurysm, is that surgery might be needed sooner or later. However, this type of surgery has become a relatively safe procedure nowadays. I felt apprehensive when I was in the watch and wait stage, because I was not allowed to lift heavy objects and I was always worried about  having sudden complications from the aneurysm. In a way, I felt gald when the surgeon decided to operate and fix it.
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/13/2010 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
cello,


Thank you so very much for your positive post. It is always good to see members post the good things as it is an inspiration to others who have legitimate fears and concerns re this topic.



Your input is truly appreciated.



Hugs,

Kitt

chug
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/21/2010 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi   I am another person that has an thoracic aorta aneurysm that is 4.7 and will be having surgery some time and would like to know if
 any one has had this type of surgery in Omaha Neb and which hospital they had it in and what Dr.they had. Any recommendation
for hospitals or Drs. would be  appreciated.   I am 73 years old. chug

Post Edited (chug) : 2/21/2010 3:30:02 PM (GMT-7)


carl56
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/17/2010 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
 
I was just diagnosed with a bicuspid valve and an aortic aneursym, 5.2 cm. The surgeon has recommended waiting 6 months and then do another ct scan. I really don't know if I need another opinion. I'm a 56 year old male.
Thanks...

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/18/2010 9:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to HW.



You posted " I really don't know if I need another opinion." If you are not completely secure with the advice of this physician then I would suggest you do seek out a second opinion.



Take care,

Kitt

Bunney3
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/21/2010 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   

In August, 2009, I had surgery for thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms.  Both were very large - 7.4 cm and 6.2cm. They were discovered when I was ex-rayed for back spasms.  Because of my age (72) and was a longtime smoker (I quit the day my doctor called me with the news), I received many tests to see what my chances would be in surgery.  The tests were all good so a few weeks later I was at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, which is also a teaching hospital.  Luckily, the cardiovascular clinic has 5 of the top doctors in the state because it takes a team of at least 4 to do the surgery.  The top man sat us down and explained exactly what was going to take place and what could possibly go wrong.  I was on the heart/lung machine the entire time as they have to cut off the blood supply in the aorta.  It was scary to hear but the alternative was the probable rupture of either one of the aneurysms because they were so large and certain death within minutes.  After 12 hours of surgery, 9 days on life support, 11 days in cardiac ICU and 9 days in rehab, I finally came home. The surgery team was very pleased with their work and with the progress I made thereafter.  But make no mistake, it's been a long, long haul.  If my husband had not turned into such a good house-husband, I would not have made it.  He did all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, supported me, literally, to walk to the bathroom and bedroom.  I had no strength, no stamina, no appetite.  Taking a shower (with a shower chair) took my energy for the rest of the day. But slowly and surely, every day brought a little more results.  I had a home care nurse come 3 times a week for the care on the incision which starts at the navel, crosses left under my arm, around to my back and up to the cervical area.

It has now been 6 months and everything healed as it was supposed to.  My energy is back, although I still have to take breaks when something requires standing for a while, such as making a pie which I did this morning.  I can cook, shop, clean and tend to all the things I did before, albeit a little more slowly.  But I wake up every day thankful.  It could have ended much differently.  So each day is a blessing.  And all because I was having back spasms.  Otherwise, I would never have known.  I recommend everyone have an ex-ray even if they have no problems.  Otherwise, you'll never know.

 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/22/2010 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   
What an amazing story and I am so glad you took the time to post it hear as it is truly inspiring.



Thank you and please do stick with us as we love to have new members.



Gentle Hugs,



Kitt

acu-one
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/1/2010 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, yep I am scared! I have an ascending aortic aneurysm, and both mitral and aortic valve problems. I went from a 4.3 last year to a 4.7 this year. I was told I would have to have surgery within 12 months or so. Being pro-active, I have researched quite abit about it. I am seeing a specialist in Denver in 3 weeks. I will know what the results of my CT scan tomorrow. I am living with chest pains that go to my center back. I guess I am at a loss. I would prefer to have the surgery ASAP. Any ideas!!!!

acu-one
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/1/2010 8:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey, Chug;
Go to http://www.heart-valve-surgery.com/surgeon-database/surgeon-database.php, there is a tone of information there in regards to Drs.
 
 
I bought Adam's book of the second sight and It is amazing.  It has helped my so much through this.  Gave me focus and something to do.  It explains things in layman's / dr terms.  You will understand it.  I am glad I found this website, as it has helped me narrow dr's down and learn about my ascending aortic aneurysm/valve problem.  It is a great website!
 
good luck!

carl56
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/24/2010 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
As indicated earlier, I'm a 56 year old male with a bicuspid valve and a 5.2 cm aortic aneursym. I just found this out a few months ago, and I feel great. The first surgeon wanted to check it every 6 months and wait up to 2 years for surgery. After reading other posts hear and getting advice (thanks Kitt), I asked for a referral to Cleveland. After a very long day of waiting and testing, the surgeon recommended surgery as soon as possible. I just returned from my second visit for pre-operative testing. Surgery is scheduled for May 3rd. Of course, I'm scared...but I now understand why this needs to be done. I am comfortable with the facility and the expertise of the doctors.
I have no doubt that the first surgeon was giving his honest opinion on what was best for me. This is my life and I made a different decision after getting more information. I don't know if this is right or wrong, but I need to get on with my life. I will get past this "bump in the road".
I encourage all of you to be comfortable with the decisions made about you..it is your life after all.
I truly wish you all the best!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/26/2010 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey, good to hear from you and I am glad you saw a surgeon that is ready to take care of your heart issues now. May 3 is one week away so please know I will keep you in my prayers.



I think you have a great attitude and I believe as you, once we have made the decision then move forward. I know it is scary but so is living with an aortic aneursym. I believe you have made the right decision.



If you should start getting into the "what ifs?" of anxiety prior to your surgery try to stop the thinking right away.
We spend much time thinking about what was and what could have been. And we spend much time projecting into the future and wondering about what may happen.

The key to solving this problem is of course to live as much as you can in the only moment that you ever really live in and control. This moment right now.

My prayers are with you and I look forward to hearing from you post-op.

I wish you peace,

Kitt

carl56
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/26/2010 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much, Kitt! I appreciate your concern and advice. I'll keep you all posted on my progress and my success.

Pertlypink
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/28/2010 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I would have liked to read all these responses a couple of months ago. In January, through a routine physical, my doctor heard a heart murmur that was not there the year before. I am a 56 year old female in fairly good health, or so I thought. My only complaint to him was that I just didn't feel good but couldn't put my finger on anything specific. He sent me for a echo cardiogram which revealed aortic valve stenosis which earned me an appointment with a cardiologist. He told me that the stenosis was quite pronounced and I had maybe 2 years left to live. I was in total shock. He said I needed open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve. I decided to wait about 6 months and then make a decision. I am overweight and really wanted to lose a few pounds before undergoing any surgery. I have 2 sons and they had other ideas. They were determined that I have it done right away because they thought I would just not get it done at all if I didn't. I went for a heart cath which not only confirmed the stenoic aorta valve, but also revealed an ascending aortic aneurysm.

To make a long story short I had open heart surgery on March 4, 2010 to replace the aortic valve with a mechanical valve and to repair the aneurysm. I feel I had a fantastic surgeon and the entire team were wonderful. But, I had complications. I had a small stroke, and my heart and lungs couldn't fight off the fluid that accumulated. I ended up several days later with a pacemaker. Overall I was in the hospital nearly 3 weeks and went home still fighting the fluid and stroke. But I am getting better.

I do not regret going ahead and getting it done, and have great hope that in a very short time I will feel much better than I did before the surgery. The numbness in my right foot from the stroke is better and my right arm is now stronger. There are no other effects that I am aware of.

So, taking a blood thinner for the rest of my life seems a small price to pay for a longer life, hopefully. Anyone facing this surgery should ask a lot of questions, do their research, and make an informed decision.

chelang
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/9/2010 1:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm 51 I was diagnosed with aneurysm of the ascending aorta in December of 09 measuring 44mm.My father was diagnosed with it in 99 at 43mm he passed away in 07 of cancer and the aneurysm was 52mm he was 79 years old.My mother died of AAA in 01 she was 72.
My brother,61 years old,was diagnosed with an ascending aorta aneurysm in 01 and measured 43mm .In September of 09 at one of his check ups the aneurysm had grown to 52mm.He had surgery done in a clinic in northern Italy and where able to save is aortic valve.He's doing great.
When I first found out I was scared and thought my life was over, now I've made a few changes in my life,exercise regularly,started taking BP and cholesterol medication and lost about 20 pounds.I keep telling myself that I must stay in shape so when the day comes for surgery I can better recupe.
When I had a CT scan done in December to verify the size of the aneurysm the nurse informed me that she read a report of a CT scan done in 07 and that the size of the aneurysm was the same and had not grown. That was good but nobody told me in 07 about the problem.
My next visit is coming up in June I'm getting a little nervous about it but in a way I'm also hoping that they tell me it's time so that I to can put this behind.

jesimae
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 5/16/2010 1:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I hope all goes well for all of you. My father just died of an aneurysm 3 weeks ago today. We had no warning. He was hurting in his groin all day. He thought he'd pulled a muscle. He was sitting on the couch and told my step mom "Uh-oh, something just popped." That was it. He wasn't breathing when the paramedics got there. They did get him back briefly after they intubated him, but he died on the operating table. My family is a total wreck. No warning. I'm not trying to tell you guys what to do, but if the doctor told me I had one, no matter how small or large, he would be fixing it. Shouldn't be a big deal to him, he gets paid, right? But then I'm not a wait and see kinda girl-hehe.

Whatever decisions each of you make, I wish you the best and a long healthy life.
Jessica, diagnosis: unsure


jesimae
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 5/16/2010 1:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Pertlypink, your story makes me feel good. So glad that you are doing well! Good for your sons too! Thanks for sharing!
Jessica, diagnosis: unsure


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/16/2010 9:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell. I thank you for posting your story and I am sure you are nervous about your upcoming visit in June. I will be keeping you in my prayers and please know that we are here for you and we care. June is almost here and that is a good thing.



Again a warm welcome,



Kitt

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/16/2010 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   
jesimae


I am so sorry to hear of the death of your Father. Please accept my deepest sympathy as I know you must be greiving deeply for him.



Losing someone you love is not an easy thing as I know this from my own personal experiences.



Take care and gentle hugs to you,



Kitt

Trackermom
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 5/30/2010 3:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello smilewinkgrin
In Dec. 09 I had a bad case of GERD, something I had been having since having surgery to remove an ovary & cyst in Nov. Only I didn't know it was GERD. So I went to the ER. All was well with the heart but because I was having pain not burning like classic heartburn they did a CT scan and on one slice of the 64 slice the radiologist said it was just 4.0 cm. Now the nitro creme they put on me helped the pain, I have since found out that esophageal spasms are helped by nitro also,

I am going for my big follow up test Wednesday It is a MRA as my cardiologist likes the MRA better because CT 64 slice scans can measure long on the oblique and maybe over measure.
So needless to say I am holding on dearly to that theory and hope that I don't have an ascending aortic aneurysm. Now I was a heart patient back in 1997 & 1998. Postpartum cardiomyopathy with some ventricular tachycardia. After the tachy was cured with an ablation my heart went back to normal. Because of that experience I had a heart cath done, echocardiograms, MUGA scans and an EP study.
I have three echocardiograms on from 1997, one from 2001 and one from 2009. The one from 1997 is the same as 2009 and the one in 2001 was larger then both. Why would NO ONE mention a AA when I was under really great care?
Now I am taller then your average female, 6 feet 2 inches and thanks to an anti depressant I gained 90 pounds in the 10 years I was on it because of the weight gain, I became hypertensive and had sleep apnea. Since being off the crap I have drop 40 pounds, but am still hypertensive but nicely controlled with a beta blocker and benicar.

I beat a serious heart condition before and I long to beat this one.

If you can share anything about what I've mentioned it would be appreciated. I am nervous and anxiously await this test, but I guess I should just be prepared for testing the rest of my life at the very least.
I feel grateful that it was noticed, but still anxiety creeps up. I am 40 and active an doing what I need to be doing.

Be well.
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