Questions re. aortic aneurysm

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/25/2015 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for this site. It has helped me to deal with my anxiety. I was diagnosed October of 2014. After a bad reaction to medication taken for pain following complete shoulder replacement I ended up in the ER. CAT scan taken to check for blood clots revealed the aortic aneurysm measuring 4.4--Thoracic, ascending. Follow-up with a cardiothoracic surgeon and cardiologist confirmed through echocardiogram at 4.3. The consultation following testing with each Doc was not very helpful. They answered many questions but failed to answer several others:
1) Are there exercises that should be avoided. Lifting light weights, water walking, biking, gardening, and especially playing golf etc.
2) Should I try to limit my pulse rate. If so to what level. The formula I have always followed was 220 minus age (70 for me) times 80% which would yield 120.
3) My last blood pressure was 118/64 but it does vary. Would lower blood pressure reduce risk of aneurysm growing or does risk of passing out become problem. I have reduced my weight from 203 to 193 @ 6-3.

I have scheduled appt. at the Mayo in Rochester for March 26, 2015 with Cardiologist Dr. Charles J. Bruce. Does anyone have experience with him?

Thank you for any experience that you might share and all the best to you with your circumstance.


New Member

Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/29/2015 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi John,
I'm new to this site but you and I are in similar situations. I too have an ascending aortic aneurysm the same size as yours. I was diagnosed 2 years ago at 4.24cm and it was at 4.37 6 months ago. I go for my next CT next week and will see what if anything has developed. I'm suspicious that I will have some growth. My BP has been well under control (around 110/65) since the diagnosis 2 years ago until about 5 moths ago. For some reason it has been quite a bit higher lately, between 120/80 and 150/95. For the past month or so I've been having dull pain in and around my sternum and I'm very short of breath. I'll take a shot at your questions....
1. No physical activities that could result in getting hit pretty hard. I've heard a lot of different things about lifting weights but my doc told me to keep the weight less than 30lbs. I do more reps with less weight. Any mild cardio is good and suggested. Check into the golf issue. I have heard that a big golf swing could be bad for folks in our situation. Avoid Valsalva maneuvers (google it).
2. Important to keep the heart rate moderate as possible. If you are on a beta blocker, and you should be, it probably won't get much past 80. Definitely check with your cardio doc
3. They tell me <120 systolic is best. I feel best when I'm at around 110, no light headedness and not much pressure on the aorta.

I have no knowledge of Dr Bruce but if he is a cardio at Mayo, I'd feel pretty good about that. I've got a second opinion scheduled late Feb with Dr Christiano Caldiera at Tampa General. I hope to get some real direction from him. Best to you John and I look forward to comparing notes with you as we travel this road.

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