Posted 8/20/2008 8:17 PM (GMT -6)
I'm a 51 year old female that was diagnosed with Congenital valvular heart disease when I was 5 years old. I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve and was followed for many years due not only to insufficiency, but stenosis as well. A few years after the birth of my 4th child, my cardiac symptoms became pretty bad. Primarily shortness of breath. At the age of 35 I had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical valve.
Fast forward to 2005, shortly before my 48th birthday and I began experiencing some odd sypmptoms. My mechanical valve wouldn't "click" at times (ended up to have a clot on it) and I had this very strange pulsation and bulging in my neck. Scared the dickens out of me. I went to the emergency room, they ordered a cat scan and discovered that I had a 5 cm aneurysm of the ascending aorta. At that time they recommended immediate surgery to repair the aneurysm and replace the old mechanical valve as well. They replaced the ascending arch of my aorta with a dacron graft with a St. Jude mechanical valve attached.
I don't know if it's normal to wait to 6 cm to have the aneurysm repaired, but my doctor's did it immediately at 5 cm. Perhaps it was because I was also experiencing symptoms of a clot of my mechanical valve and they thought it would be best to go ahead and do the whole thing at the same time.
Don't know if any of that helped.