Even HMOs allow for a second opinion prior to surgery so seeing a local SHOULD NOT prevent you from going to Cleveland Clinic for any surgery you might need.
AAAs are scarey, worrisome things. I would think that a good web search should bring up some info and data on when the size of an AAA gets worrisome and/or should receive closer observation or preventive care.
For instance: I was found to have a 4 cm simple ovarian cyst on one ovary at 62 years of age and way post menopausal. My family doctor immediately referred me to an ob/gyn. I immediately hit the web. There wasn't a whole lot of info on post-menopausal cysts except "take them out". 4 cms seemed to be the maximum size limit for just monitorng. I did manage to find two references to monitoring a simple post-menopausal cyst up to 8 cms.
The ob/gyn, of course, immediately said it has to come out and referred me to a local gyn onco. Meanwhile, thru a web search I found a gyn onco at CC who has a special interest in gyn problems in women w/Crohn's disease (I have had Crohn's disease for some 30+ years). I was given a timely appointment w/him and he concurred that we could wait until 8 cms w/periodic monitoring. His suggestion was ultrasounds at 1 month, 3 months, 3 months, 6 months, 6 months and yearly thereafter as long as it remained a simple cyst, wasn't growing, caused no symptoms or until it reached 8 cms.
Its been six years, that cyst is still there, its still a simple cyst causing no symptoms and is almost 8 cms. BUT I'm now being told by a marvelous Mayo gyn onco that we can probably keep monitoring up to 10 cms but after that there is too much risk of artifacts w/the ultrasounds.
One of the reasons the doctors are willing to hold off is because they and I know that I have a high grade partial obstruction from an old Crohn's resection that is going to cause the need for another resection and they are willing to respect my wishes to wait and do both surgeries at the same time.
But the point is - YOU need to understand AND BE COMFORTABLE WITH the size of that AAA and how long you are comfortable living w/it before having it repaired. YOU are the one to endure the consequences - or benefits - of any decision made regarding your health care.
Good luck and God bless. I apologise for the length of this reply.
My computer says I need to upgrade my brain to be compatible with its new software.
Post Edited (CrohnieToo) : 2/16/2011 10:12:33 AM (GMT-7)